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Painting (324-565)

Floor mosaics
Mural mosaics
'Opus sectile'

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Dedication of a child to Saint Demetrios
Mosaic scene of a woman leading a child towards the saint, mid 5th century, Thessalonike, basilica of Agios Demetrios.

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Dedication of a child to Saint Demetrios
Mid 5th century

In the Early Christian cities of Macedonia all genres of contemporary painting are represented, that is wall-paintings, floor and mural mosaics, as well as 'opus sectile' works. Fragments of wall-paintings have been found in churches and houses, while intact compositions are preserved in graves.

The sepulchral wall-paintings of Thessalonike represent all stages in the development of this art form, spanning a period from the 3rd to the 5th century. During this period mosaic floors gained in popularity, continuing an earlier local tradition. The thematic repertoire and technique of the floor mosaics of Macedonia are no different from those of the Mediterranean in general.

The extent of the wonderful mural mosaics of Thessalonike (the estimated area of those surviving in the Rotunda alone is 600 sq. yards) bespeak the existence of a high quality workshop in the city. In Early Christian times the technique of 'opus sectile' was also used in Macedonia for the decoration of floors and walls.

See Also
History - Late Antiquity (324-565)
Civilization - Painting in Antiquity
Architecture (324-565)
Sculpture, metalwork and pottery (324-565)

Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.