TITLE: Mosaic of a patrician
PERIOD: 4th-5th Century DC
MATERIAL: Marble mosaic tesserae
SIZE: 114 x 78 cm.
PRICE: 27,000 €
PROVENANCE: Formerly a private German collection, 1980. Afterwards, in a private English collection.
CONDITION: This is a mosaic fragment in good condition with the near total of its tesserae.
This is a mosaic fragment in multi-coloured tesserae: white, black, red, ochre and different brown tones. The scene shows a young patrician, standing and facing forward. He wears a garment held in at the waist and holds a bird in either hand. To the right side we find a tree of which only a part can be seen. The scene is limited in the upper edge by a curving black line. An inscription made up with tesserae lies over the head of the young man. It is in Greek and is the name of the person, DVC TROC, which can be translated as Duke Tros. It is a scene from a circular mosaic in which each section would have a design similar to this one.
The Romans built the mosaics with small pieces called tiles, and it was referred in latin opus tessellatum. The tiles are pieces in cubic shape, made of marble, limestone or glass or ceramic material, very elegant and elaborate and different sizes. The artist arranged them on the surface, like a puzzle, distributing color and shape and agglomerating with a mass of cement.
The mosaics were to the Romans a decorative element for architectural spaces. It became an art so appreciated and widespread than in the third century the emperor Diocletian issued a decree that established the price that artists could give their works, according to the degree of pre-qualification.
- M.D. DUNBABIN, Katherine. Mosaics of the Greek and Roman world. Cambridge University Press, 1999.
- ÖNAL, Mehmet. Zeugma Mosaics. Istanbul, 2009.