The Beautiful, Magnetic World of Ancient Roman Mosaics

After presenting you six intriguing facts about mosaics, we’re now zooming into the absorbing territory of Ancient Roman mosaics, an art form present at the dawn of the Roman Empire, and still there during the time of its collapse. Mosaics had many uses, from portraying gods to reinforcing patriotism, honoring the dead and decorating private and public spaces. 

By 800 BC, colored pebbles started being used as pavement. The Ancient Greeks brought this technique to perfection, making precise geometric patterns and detailed scenes of everyday life. The Roman Empire got inspired by the Greek art form and started sending it across its territories. 

Image: Mosaic in the Villa Casale (central Sicily), copyright Per-Erik Skramstad

Roman floors would often have a central design mosaic, which was a very complex piece of art. An experienced artist would complete this piece, while apprentices would work on the geometric borders surrounding the creation.

Gladiators were an extremely popular theme, their quests and conquers on display for everyone in need of a shot of adrenaline.

Copyright: Archivio FMR

Pompeii had an astonishing share of mosaics, preserved up until today thanks to the volcano Vesuvius. The famous floor found in the House of the Faun in Pompeii is believed to be a mosaic copy of a Greek painting. It portrays a battle of Alexander and the Persian king Darius in 331 BC. 


The Sea God in the British Museum is another treasure from the Roman occupation. 


As Christianity replaced the Roman state religion, mosaics started being created for walls. The Byzantine churches in Italy and Turkey found that mosaics could decorate cramped spaces with a beautiful efficiency. These mosaics would often include gold, silver and glass elements.


This month we are celebrating the mosaic artworks in all their splendor. Come visit our website to rejoice in the modern examples of this ancient art and add a touch of both tradition and elegance to your home project.