What is a mosaic, and where were mosaics found in the Byzantine Empire?

Mosaic is the form of figurative art that immediately followed the graffiti.

Mosaic is a form of art where the image to be represented is materialised by the assembly of tiny coloured fragments of stones, tainted glass or earthenware. These are deposited and glued to a flat surface following the scheme envisaged and previously prepared by the artist.

The art of mosaic is old. Primitive examples, dating of the Neolithic, have been found in Mesopotamia. It greatly developed in Greece, in Rome and, before the year 1000 aD, in Ravenna, in Byzantium and other territories of the Byzantine Empire. Where are the best examples? Everywhere the Orthodox Christians built a church. Istanbul is full of them, so are Palermo and Athens.

Where are the most awesome ones ? Being Italian allow me to be biased and vote for Ravenna and Monreale. If you ever visit that part of the world, don’t miss them. You will be struck by their beauty.

(Both images are from Wikipedia. The first is from San Vitale in Ravenna. The second from Monreale, near Palermo).

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