The word mosaic comes from Latin, more specifically from mosaicus, a term used by the Romans to refer to the combinations of stone and glass used to decorate the pavement of temples dedicated to the Muses.
From ancient Rome to our days
The ancient Romans used waste materials from some constructions as pieces for ornamentation. These pieces, also known as tesserae, combined to decorate the pavement of the houses of the patricians or to decorate the walls of the temples, as well as to beautify public buildings. This tradition was assimilated into Byzantine Christian culture, more particularly to reproduce images with religious content.
During the Renaissance this tradition was recovered, in a very special way as a decorative technique in churches. As early as the 20th century, modernist architects used mosaic techniques to color the facades of buildings.
From an artistic point of view, mosaic has two forms of expression : as a decorative element in architecture and in the decoration of interiors and gardens, on the other hand, as a technique integrated in the work of handcrafted ceramics.
Mosaic has numerous possibilities
The mosaic is not simply a set of tesserae of stone and glass that form a design with a certain symmetry. In fact, any type of material can be used, such as plastics, post it, wood, metals or fabrics. Its versatility is more than evident and can be found in tesserae games for children to make a mosaic, in photographic murals, floral mosaics or tattoos that reproduce the techniques of this artistic tradition.
Its geometric dimension
The pieces that make up a mosaic cover a given plane with a series of flat figures, which are combined in search of symmetrical shapes. For this reason, on certain occasions, it is said that mosaic is an art of a geometric type. There are regular, semi-regular, irregular tessellations and they all have a pattern based on the principles of geometry .
In some cities there is great cultural , ethnic and linguistic diversity . The ancient Alexandria or the current city of New York are a good example. This type of phenomenon can sometimes be described as a cultural mosaic. In this way, the creation technique intended for ornamentation serves as a metaphor to describe a human reality .