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What is Mosaic
Mosaic is a decorative art based on creating compositions, patterns or pictures, by assembling fragments of materials mostly roughly square, called tesserae or tiles. The materials commonly used for tiles are stone, glass, pottery, mirror, foil-backed glass, or shells.
The word “mosaic” comes from the Italian mosaico, deriving from the ancient Greek mouseios which means: “belonging to the Muses”, and, therefore, artistic.
Curiosities about Mosaic
According to the sources, the earliest known examples of mosaics are dated to the second half of 3rd millennium BC, and were found at a temple building in Abra, in the ancient Mesopotamia. The mosaics in Abra are made by stones, in different colours, shells and ivory.
Finest examples of mosaics can be appreciated in ancient Greek and Roman arts, across Europe and different artistic expressions, such as in Islamic and Christian arts during different ages, especially during the so called Byzantine era.
In the 20th century, among the famous artists who used the mosaic art in an innovative way are the Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and the Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt.
At the end of 2005, the International Centre for Mosaic Documentation has created the Databank Contemporary Mosaic, a database of contemporary mosaic artists to find information about mosaic artists and their activities.
In the past, mosaic has been mostly used as a technique in architecture, especially to decorate floors and ceilings.
Mosaic has evolved even as a popular art and craft, to create or decorate also small objects.