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Roman Stone Mosaic - Intricate Geometric Star Pattern

Roman, the Levant, late Imperial Period, ca. 3rd to 5th century CE. A spectacular mosaic presenting a quilt-like pattern of repeated geometric star motifs - each stellar form comprised of central diamond shapes with radiating triangles from each side with elongated diamond shapes nested between the points. The composition - comprised of square, triangular, and diamond-shaped stone tesserae in a vibrant color scheme of red, beige, black, yellow ochre, grey, and white hues - makes for a dazzling optical illusion with an upper and lower black border that is truly a feast for the eyes! Size: mosaic composition measures 50" W x 21.25" H (127 cm x 54 cm); 51.875" W x 22.75" H (131.8 cm x 57.8 cm) including modern matrix and metal framing

Mosaics (opus tesellatum) are some of our most enduring images from the Roman world, exciting not only for their aesthetic beauty, but also because they reveal what Romans chose to depict and see every day decorating their private and public spaces. This example demonstrates the ancients' fascination with design, optic, as well as geometry.

In the Roman province of Syria, which encompassed most of the ancient Near East/Levant, mosaics developed as a common art form relatively late, with most finds coming from the 3rd century CE or later. Syria was one of Rome's wealthiest provinces, but it was also far removed from Rome itself and Roman culture was overlaid on enduring cultural traditions from Hellenistic Greece and the great civilizations that came before it. Antioch-on-the-Orontes (modern day Antakya, Turkey), was the capital of northern Roman Syria, and its excavations in the 1930s revealed more than three hundred mosaic pavements - of which many embellished public baths. Popular mosaic themes from this region were often mythological or religious scenes, depicting gods and goddesses; however, sometimes mosaics were created to fit the theme or design of a building or room.

Condition: Expected surface wear with minor losses, nicks, fissures, recessions, and abrasions to tesserae commensurate with age. Set in a modern plaster matrix with a metal frame.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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