It's effortless to drown in the beauty of the mosaic patterns, colours, and complex designs. The complexity, the construction, and the shapes can be fascinating. It's captivating to see the arrangement of hundreds to thousands of tiny, colored tiles on a decorated surface made up of individual pieces coming together to create excellent mosaic art. The magic of this unique art craft replies in its endurance and sturdiness over the years.
Mosaic art is history's highest form of aesthetic, divinity, and elegance. With over 3000 years of history, mosaic art is everywhere in many cities worldwide.
If we take a look at the ancient roots of mosaic art, the craft dates back to the 3rd millennium BCE; the oldest mosaic piece was found in a temple in Mesopotamia. Researchers found the oldest mosaic in the world in Yozgat in central Turkey. The measurements of the portion discovered are around 10 by 23 feet, compromising 3147 sones and ages 3500 years.
Mosaic Art Around the World
From Persian tiles, Moroccan zelij, Gaudi's architecture to the mosaic table lamp in your living room, mosaic art can be found worldwide. The ancient civilizations had so much appreciation of this ancient art form, and it was being used as a stylistic and communicative medium to create art that expressed belief systems over the years.
Its long history can be witnessed around the world in many mosaic cities where you can find limitless colors, patterns, and designs that manifest beauty and creativity. This art style has crossed cultures over millennia to become one of the most enduring pieces of human history.
Many mosaic art tiles are famous worldwide, such as the roman mosaic art tile that represents one of the fundamental documentations of everyday objects such as clothing, tools, vegetation, weaponry, and animals. The main Roman style can be found in places such as Italy, where the Romans and the Byzantines made Ravenna Italy's capital of mosaics. In this Emilia-Romagna town, you can find the highest examples of mosaic art that is also considered on Unesco's World Heritage list.
The site contains the most important collection of mosaics from the fifth and sixth centuries AD, of iconological importance and artistic quality. This mosaic art finds its highest expression which lives on in the schools and workshops in the city and in the hands of local artisans intel modern days.
Another widely known is the Turkish mosaic tile that you can find in mosques all around turkey. The Sultan Ahmet Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, is one of Turkey's famous sites holding beautiful ancient mosaic tiles.
The mosque's interior has more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles made in (Nicaea) Iznik city utilizing more than 50 different tulip layouts and represents different patterns and motifs of flowers, fruits, and cypresses under the supervision of the Iznik master potter Baris Efendi and Kasap Haci. They've created and formed more than 20.000 pieces of traditional mosaic art all around the mosque.
The pattern falls into the category of Islamic architecture. It has striking sculptural forms and dazzling ornamental details that characterize the mosque. This Islamic building reflects a divine beauty that is based on symmetry and momentum that is breath-taking for its observer and interconnects the lines shaped by growth, movement, and progress. It all manifests the unity of creation that symbolizes the unity of God.
But far from this famous worldly known ancient mosaic master art, let's take a look at some of the underground mosaic art in other parts of the world that we don't usually hear about that much:
Nambucca Heads, Australia
Nambucca means 'entrance to waters' in the Aboriginal language. The town is located on the seaside at the edge of the Nambucca River. A combination of the natural beauty of rainforests that lines the freshwater shore where dolphins find joy. In addition to that, the town it owns art signature that holds a great vibration, colorful graffiti, and mosaic art pieces all around.
There's a creative public art project that winds its way along nearly 60 meters of the footpath in Nambucca Heads near the local Police Station known as the Nambucca Mosaic Walk. The project was led by an artist named Guy Crosley, who, with local artists, scoured the district for distinctive tiles, pottery, china, and other knickknacks to create an astonishing artwork. Capturing the maritime essence of the area, its colorful blue pallet and wavey patterns represent the water life.
This work started in 1996 and was completed in 2000 on the gigantic 50-meter mural. The work is a stylized and symbolic geographical representation of the area. Every piece of "Fish & Chips" was constructed from ceramics, tiles, and objects donated and made explicitly by local artists, volunteers, school children, art students, and other artists from around the world as Guy Crosley described in one interview.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Brazil is different from the typical place that comes to mind when you think of mosaic art. However, Brazil has one of the most colorful mosaic stairways that is located in one of brazil's extraordinary cities, Rio de Janeiro, the sixth-most populous city in the Americas.
Part of Rio de Janeiro has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea"
Known as 'Escadaria Selarón' or 'Selaron Steps', it is a set of world-famous steps in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The stairs were decorated with tiles over many years by a Chilean artist Jorge Selarón who sold postcards to be able to buy more tiles to make his mosaic tile work. It got so famous that tourists from all over the world sent him tiles typical of their countries or depicting their home town, which he then incorporated in the decoration of the stairs.
In 1990, Selarón started remaking and repairing dilapidated stairs that take off to the door of his house; he used Brazilian flag colors and fragments of green, yellow, and blue mosaic pieces.
The stairs have 215 steps, measuring 125 meters, which are covered with more than 2000 mosaic tile that was gathered from over 60 countries all around the world. Primarily, the tiles meant to be used were
Originally, the tiles meant to be used were rummaged from the plenty of construction sites and piles of rubbish found on Rio de Janeiro streets. But in later years, Selarón got so much support on his project, and he received 2000+tiles donated by visitors from all over the globe. He ends up making a hand painting of a pregnant African woman on the side of the wall to complement the art.
Selaron's famous mosaic stairways garnered global attention from different magazines, such as National Geographic, since their completion in the early 2000s, and they have become a major tourist attraction in Brazil.
For many years, Selarón was hanging around his remarkable mosaic piece of art, ricking his signature uniform with his red clothes and hats, putting out shaggy stories of his popularity to the visitors.
Mosaic art holds greater importance with it; it's a representation of a whole mind state and system of beliefs that lies between the divinity and creativity of the people, their feelings, their lands, and much more of the timeline where they used to live. It used to be created by experts and craft men. Nowadays, anyone can make mosaics; anybody can create their mosaic gallery at their very own home with their family or friends and that's what gives this art its magic, and its value is still timeless.
You can read our previous article from https://artmasterclassmosaic.myshopify.com/blogs/news/how-to-become-a-mosaic-artist.