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CivilizationCivilization in AntiquityArt in AntiquityMosaics in Antiquity

Mosaics in Antiquity

The Olynthos mosaics
The Vergina mosaics
The Pella mosaics
The mosaics of Thessalonike and Dion

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Mosaic in the palace at Agai
Drawing of the elaborate floral design on the mosaic floor of the 'oikos' (private appartments) of the palace, second half of 4th century BC, Vergina.

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Mosaic in the palace at Agai
Second half of 4th century BC

In the palace of Vergina (ancient Aigai) one of the most beautiful mosaics in Macedonia was uncovered.

The floor of the 'oikos' (private apartment of the palace) of the south wing is decorated with a mosaic with an artistic ornamental motif. It consists of a circular composition around a central point, within a square frame; sprigs branch out from a central rose to the circumference, while the spaces in between are filled with a wealth of flowers, leaves and spirals. In the corners of the square, female figures are depicted, whose lower part ends in a palmette.

The mosaic is composed of river pebbles in varying shades, and dates to the second half of the 4th century BC. The work is distinguished by its symmetry and the grace with which so many decorative elements are combined, as well as the effort to represent volume by the use of chiaroscuro.

This decorative subject with a multitude of plant motifs springing from a central flower was thenceforth widely employed in diverse art forms. Mosaics with the same subject were found in houses at Pella.

See Also
Civilization - Palaces and theatres in Antiquity

Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.