Byzantine team work final steps

After 8 weeks, our group work has been completed: a copy of the Byzantine mosaic of the Baptistery in Florence.

After my first piece, a horn of the devil, I got a section with all kinds of color and material combinations. A body of a condemned soul, which is kept in the green-yellow hand of the devil, on a background of purple mountains and red flames.

No misery

“Non lavorate con la miseria” I heard my teacher say during the project again and again. “Do not settle with the material you see on your desk. Stand up and search for the right color.” And so, the mixtures became richer, and with them the work got more and more interesting.

What I enjoyed the most? The carnagioni I guess, the skin areas. Because there, we could add different types of marble, to further expand the color grades. As I like mixing glass and marble I enjoyed that a lot. Also, I have learned much about skin shades. Among other things, that colors that might seem so wrong to use at the beginning make skin tones look more natural and lively. Acid green and yellows for example.

And on to the posa!

A moment in which everything has to go fast while being very accurate, is the posa – the laying of all the parts of the mosaic.

It the moment when you see how well the pieces fit to one another, both regarding the chromatics (which of course must be regularly checked while working) and the size. Also light height differences can be balanced now by adding more cement on the thin set.

To make the process of putting the pieces together easier and hide the borders of the different sections, we leave a line of tesserae empty between two pieces which is later filled directly on the final surface.

Once the mosaic hangs I will add a photo here. Now, few days before Christmas break, we start our new exercise which will lead us to a topic I am really looking forward to: the portraits. It is an implementation of an eye in the Byzantine style. And we all have 24 for finishing it!

Written By
More from miriam

Teamwork IV: Florence Baptist Church

A devil, snakes, precious colors, gold: We have arrived in the Middle...
Read More


  • Amazing pictures!!! So great of you to share this – what an experience, very fun to live vicariously through your blog!

    • Thank you Mercedes! Nice to hear that you enjoy following the posts! Becomes more and more fun with the months passing by in school to share my experiences with you.
      Keep following!
      Best wishes, Miriam

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *