When I thought about the Roman mosaics and what was depicted, I came to the conclusion that, apart from technology and electronics, which have undergone a very large development, not much has really changed when it comes to ‘bread and play’. The Romans, among other things, regularly portray sports. There was also wrestling and boxing at that time, which was depicted in mosaic works.
So I wondered, if the Romans had continued to create mosaics, or better yet if they were to mosaic today what we see around us, what would the mosaics represent? This work is therefore the first in a series.
Roman mosaics with a contemporary twist.
Next to my mosaic you see the image of a Roman mosaic that served as inspiration in terms of color limitation, etc.:
“The most complete and realistic document of combat iconography to date anywhere in the Roman world is undoubtedly the mosaic found in the Gafsa region of southwestern Tunisia. Dating from 239 AD. This pavement is a mosaic that adorned the floor in one of the rooms of a bath complex in a small ancient settlement about 60 kilometers east of the town of Capsa. Rectangular in shape (side measures 4.65 meters), the central scene illustrates figures on a white background, divided into four superimposed registers. Despite the gaps, especially in the upper right corner of the sidewalk, the composition as a whole reveals a detailed description of the sequence of athletics and combat spectacles. It consists of fourteen fully or partially preserved vignettes.”
It always amazed me how the Romans managed to work reasonably realistically despite the limitation in color and the recurring rules in terms of laying method. And therein lay my challenge in making my ‘new’ Roman-looking mosaic(s).
The goal is actually that you see the mosaic and think you see a Roman mosaic but if you look a little better or think about it, that you realize that that is not possible since Sumo wrestlers did not exist at that time.