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Thousands of years of human-animal bond depicted in animal mosaic art

(5 min read) If you browse through the internet searching for the explanation and insight into how human-animal bond actually came to life, you won’t find much. Most often you will run into some sturdy definition, such as: “The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship” yadda yadda yadda. That is all fun and dandy, but no one knows when exactly people started to tame animals and keep them as pets.

Swan Mosaic makes a gorgeous animal Mosaic Artwork
Swan mosaic by Laurel True.

Some scientists over at Smithsonian suggest that pets have been harnessed to humans for tens of thousands of years, but that is one quite broad assumption. On the other hand, archeologists have discovered thousands of stone tools and animal bones that suggest that homo Erectus (lol) has been scavenging and butchering animals at least 2 million years ago. Needless to say, animals of all kinds have been integral parts of our lives. Whether you like munching on hamburgers, or you’re a vegan with ten pets trying to save the cows from slaughter, you’re bound to be in some kind of contact with animals. And the same goes for art. Animals have been present in the art world since the dawn…well, since the dawn of the art world. One of the best examples for that is undoubtedly mosaic art.

Wolf Mosaic bathroom mosaic artwork
Wolf mosaic bathroom backsplash.

Award-winning fish pond mosaic artwork
Award-winning fish-pond mosaic art by Gary Drostle.

The earliest form of mosaic tradition was found in decorative designs of Mesopotamia around the 16th century B.C. One of the entry gates, known as the Ishtar Gate, was adorned with gorgeous glazed bricks sainted and assembled to represent a variety of animalistic motifs, such as oxen and lions. These early beginnings of mosaic art although truly gorgeous, are not done in the mosaic patterns as we know them. The first mosaic artwork as we know it started appearing during the Sassanid Empire and the majority was a direct result of the vast Roman influence.

Beautiful animalistic motifs on the Ishtar Gate.
Animalistic motifs on the Ishtar Gate.

Some of the most beautiful mosaics come from the Macedonian palace-city of Aegae, with one of the most prominent being the Stag Hunt Mosaic from the House of the Abduction of Helen, from the late 4th century BC. Once again, the animal is in the center of the mosaic art, depicting a stag being hunted down by hunters and their dog. One of the famous ancient mosaics from the same period was found in nearby Greece. A mosaic of the Kasta Tomb in Amphipolis, which depicts the abduction of Persephone by Pluto, with two magnificent horses at the center of it. Scenes of hunting bores and stags, a variety of birds, most prominently doves, were often depicted in this early period of civilization.

Stag hunt animal mosaic artwork.
Stag Hunt Mosaic from the House of the Abduction of Helen.

The abduction of Persephone mosaic design
The Abduction of Persephone by Pluto mosaic.

These days animal mosaic art is much more colorful and it is mostly focused on the expression of love and affection toward animals than anything else. Back in ancient times, animal mosaic art was more business-like (I’m trying to avoid the term “butchering”). Today artists like Amanda Anderson with her colorful animal and nature mosaic art, are pushing the boundaries and style. Anderson mostly works with stained glass and patterned ceramic pieces, but always in gorgeous vibrant colors and intricate craftsmanship and construction.

Beautiful handmade birds mosaic artwork
Gorgeous mosaic birds by Amanda Anderson.

Colorful Fox Mosaic design
Colorful fox mosaic by Amanda Anderson.

Jim Bachor does some great work covering potholes, but almost all of his seemingly quirky mosaics carry strong messages, and often he sends that message by featuring an animal in his mosaics. Vermin invading New York City may be under the radar for the rest of the world, but Bachor draws the problem out I the open by creating rat and pigeon mosaics pothole covers. He also depicted dogs, owls, and more, all in good purpose and with great admiration from the communities.

Cat mosaic artwork by Jim Bachor.
Cat mosaic pothole cover by Jim Bachor.

Pothole cover mosaic by Jim Bachor
Man’s best friend pothole cover mosaic by Jim Bachor.

One of the famous mosaic artists who is also doing some useful work for the communities is Chilean mosaicist, muralist, and ceramist Isidora Paz Lopez. She is well known for her captivating public art project that fundamentally transforms grey and gloomy city streets into vibrant mosaic landscapes. She often chooses animals to build her mosaic stories around, so city streets get their very own piece of lush flora and fauna.

Owl Mosaic Artwork Mural mosaic
Isidora Paz Lopez with her owl mosaic.

Armadillo pillar by Isidora Paz Lopez
Armadillo pillar mosaic by Isidora Paz Lopez.

For some of us, animals are the source of food, for others, they are the cause for concern, but for most of us, they are love, joy, and friendship all in one. Mosaic art, as one of the oldest art forms in the world, stands as a strong testament to the unbreakable bond between humans and animals.

Dolphins mosaic design artwork
Dolphins mosaic art by Nathan Hopkins.

Fox Pounce mosaic design by Pamela Mauseth.
Fox Pounce by Pamela Mauseth. Mosaic Artwork sold by Mosaics Lab.

Renards Amoureux Mosaic Artwork by Mosaics Lab
Renards Amoureux by Pamela Mauseth. Mosaic Design sold by Mosaics Lab.

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M. Belosh

M. Belosh

Passionate art enthusiast; avid reader (you can find me on Goodreads under the same name); movie connoisseur; intolerable before my morning coffee.

75 Comments

  1. Stephanie
    June 17, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    Ok, that fish pond mosaic is amazing! I also like the one with the cat since cats are my favorite animals. And my son saw the dolphin mural and said he wants that in his room now!!

  2. ashley
    June 17, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    This mosaic art is really beautiful. Love the different colors they used.

  3. Amber Myers
    June 17, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    I love all of these. I’ve always been a fan of mosaics because of the colors. I’d love one in the house at some point.

  4. Marie Phillips
    June 17, 2020 at 10:05 pm

    These are all so awesome! I love the koi pond one!

  5. jay aguirre
    June 18, 2020 at 3:03 am

    Wow, these are some gorgeous works of art. I could stare at these all day. Such a beautiful way to capture the relationship between animals and humans.

  6. Cristina Petrini
    June 18, 2020 at 3:24 am

    When the mosaics reflect faces and fauna environments they become real works of art that pay homage to nature. ^_^ ttt

  7. Rose Ann
    June 18, 2020 at 5:15 am

    Great mosaics! I super love the wolf in the bathroom.

  8. Jordan Campbell
    June 18, 2020 at 6:13 am

    Ooh, I love most of these! Not sure about having a wolf look over me while I bathe, though. Lol.

  9. TM
    June 18, 2020 at 9:10 am

    These mosaic arts are really pretty and meaningful! I like looking at these designs because they’re so creative, thanks for sharing!

  10. Maxim Dsouza
    June 18, 2020 at 10:02 am

    The wolf on the wall and the fish pond look fabulous.

  11. Lovely
    June 18, 2020 at 10:28 am

    Wow, these are amazing mosaic art! These are wonderful!

  12. E.
    June 18, 2020 at 11:21 am

    OMG loved these animal mosaic art..every art is much better than the other one..all looks so amazing and lovely..i especially loved that Wolf mosaic bathroom backsplash….Thanks for sharing..Great work…

  13. Melissa Cushing
    June 18, 2020 at 11:31 am

    I do love visiting and seeing all of the wonderful works of art that you showcase on your site. I especially love the wolf in the shoer and the fish that look as if they are swimming in a pool. Very cool and would love to learn this art for sure 🙂

  14. Catherine
    June 18, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    How beautiful! I never tire of the mosaic artwork…these pieces are really stunning.

  15. Katie Lam
    June 18, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Oh wow, such beautiful mosaic art! Thank you for blessing my morning!

  16. Krysten Quiles
    June 18, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Oh they’re so full of nature, I just love these!

  17. Laura
    June 18, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Those abduction mosaics are just incredible. And the wolf over the bath? Yes, please, I’ll take it. 🙂

  18. Tara Pittman
    June 18, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    These are works of art. I love the dolphin one the best.

  19. joanna
    June 18, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    These mosaic pieces are so beautiful! I wouldn’t mind having quite a few of them in my garden, I think they would be true statement pieces. I love that colorful fox.

  20. Neely
    June 18, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    That wolf mosaic is crazy! I honestly think it would give me nightmares but it’s pretty cool

  21. Julia
    June 18, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Beautiful pics! I would love to have one in my place 🙂

  22. Olufunke Kolapo
    June 18, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    I really love this design, “Animalistic motifs on the Ishtar Gate.” It’s captivating.

  23. Natalia
    June 18, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    These animals look just wonderful in the mosaics presented in your post! It’s true that this bond is very strong! 🙂

  24. Tammy
    June 18, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    Beautiful work. I’ve never thought about pets many years ago.

  25. Papa jack
    June 18, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    I never get bored looking at every sight of this mosaic arts. But most I love was the 3D pool of fishes. I so love it. Can I grab it?

  26. Rosey
    June 18, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    These are really great. I love the fish pond mosaic. It looks so real. Very cool.

  27. CW
    June 18, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    What a beautiful presentation of the human-animal bond!
    My favorite is with the swan.

  28. LB
    June 18, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    These are deep artistic impressions that mosaic lovers will live to cherish. Thank you for sharing.

  29. Margaret
    June 18, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    These are all so cool. Love all the different animal designs. The fox in the first picture is my favorite. My son would love something like that. He’s such an animal lover.

  30. norma
    June 18, 2020 at 11:38 pm

    What an interesting blog. Mosaics seem super cool.

  31. Shannon Gurnee
    June 19, 2020 at 2:54 am

    I love mosaic art, especially when it’s in pools or ponds. These are some pretty pieces.

  32. Cristina Petrini
    June 19, 2020 at 4:36 am

    When mosaics represent animals, it always seemed to me that they gave them life. ^_^ tttt

  33. Monidipa
    June 19, 2020 at 5:16 am

    These animal mosiacs look super charming. I abolutely loved the wolf one in here.

  34. Suman Doogar
    June 19, 2020 at 5:19 am

    Such exquisite art work. It truly depicts the human-animal bond.

  35. Marta Skeledžija
    June 19, 2020 at 5:42 am

    Those all are so cute. The fox ones are the best.

  36. Mary
    June 19, 2020 at 6:19 am

    I love the concept and incorporation of the animals in the art work. It’s amazing.

  37. Kristine Nicole Alessandra
    June 19, 2020 at 7:03 am

    Once again, beautiful pieces you shared in this post. My favorites are the fish pond and the bear. I am really amazed at the talents of those who created these mosaics!

  38. Anne Marie
    June 19, 2020 at 7:45 am

    Gary Drostle’s fish mosaic has always been one of my favorites. So clever that he was able to produce a 3D effect with tile!

  39. Sophia
    June 19, 2020 at 8:53 am

    These are all absolutely stunning. I love how unique your work is.

  40. solrazo
    June 19, 2020 at 9:43 am

    Great work of arts! They are absolutely amazing! I so love the Wolf mosaic bathroom backsplash!

  41. Elizabeth O
    June 19, 2020 at 10:38 am

    Renards Amoureux and the Wolf mosaic bathroom backsplash are my favorites on this list. Mosaics are amazing art forms and I commend those who do them.

  42. Jessica Collazo
    June 19, 2020 at 10:56 am

    Mosaics are so full of History and it’s no surprise that we can see animals in this type of Art.

  43. Angela
    June 19, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Wow, this is all so cool! Especially the wolf mosaic in the bathroom. I think I would want a dolphin in my bathroom, so beautiful!!!

  44. Patricia Chamberlain
    June 19, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    These are all so beautiful! I love animals and art, so these are the perfect combination!

  45. Lyosha
    June 19, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    It totally reflects my own pet mood lately. Beautiful Mosaics too

  46. Michelle
    June 19, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    They are so beautiful, I just can’t just choose one.

  47. Hannah
    June 19, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    The mosaic tradition goes way back in history and it’s amazing to see the bond between humans and animals represented in mosaics.

  48. Juju Holden
    June 19, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    Wow. These mosaics are absolutely gorgeous!! Such a beautiful way to celebrate animals.

  49. Joanne
    June 19, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    Wow! We’re redoing our bathroom soon. Just love the wolf mosaic in the shower!

  50. Renata
    June 19, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    I love looking at mosaic art and I especially love that fish-pond mosaic art – it looks almost real 🙂

  51. Ana
    June 19, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    Those are such stunning art pieces! Love that dolphin mosaic art, so beautiful 👌

  52. Nart
    June 19, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    Wow, such great designs! Love all of them!

  53. HilLesha
    June 19, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    These are so gorgeous! One of my top favorites is the Animalistic motifs on the Ishtar Gate.

  54. Jon Maldia
    June 19, 2020 at 11:40 pm

    Such beautiful mosaics. They are so lovely to view. 😉

  55. Jasmine Martin
    June 19, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    This animal mosaic art is simply divine. I would love to see these works of art in person. They are gorgeous!

  56. Beth
    June 20, 2020 at 12:08 am

    Wow, I agree that wolf mosaic is stunning – like you zoomed into a photo and can see every pixel. The armadillo is unique and I like that one too.

  57. Anindya Sundar Basu
    June 20, 2020 at 5:06 am

    This is a great study. goes to show how many years it has been that animal human bind has been existetnt

  58. Ana
    June 20, 2020 at 6:32 am

    The bond between animal and human is truly quite remarkable isn’t it? I have to say it was so interesting to read about the mosaic tradition and I particularly gasped at the Animalistic motifs on the Ishtar Gate. Beautiful.

  59. Louise
    June 20, 2020 at 8:50 am

    OMG, these are amazing! I especially love the wolf in the bathroom 🙂

    Louise x

  60. Georgina
    June 20, 2020 at 10:59 am

    Oh those mosaics are absolutely amazing. I love how they’ve captured so much detail.

  61. Melissa Cushing
    June 20, 2020 at 11:15 am

    This is such a wonderful form of art and I just love all of the wonderful pieces pictured above! Stunningly beautiful!

  62. Jamie
    June 20, 2020 at 11:33 am

    I loved all these pictures! The “man’s best friend pothole cover” looks identical to my dog!

  63. Britt K
    June 20, 2020 at 11:39 am

    These examples are all so pretty, I LOVE the look of mosaic art. My mother is a wolf lover BIG time and her bathroom is wolf-themed. I’m going to have to show her that shower wall behind the tub. I could see her doing something like that!

  64. Swagata Sen
    June 20, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    This article on animal mosaic art was so informative. I’ve genuinely learnt a lot of animal-human bonding and it’s depiction through mosaics. You’ve done an incredible amount of research to write this post! So well done!

  65. melissa
    June 20, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    mosaic art is incredibly fascinating to me. I wouldnt even know how to start something like that. The animals have so much detail.

  66. Pati Robins
    June 21, 2020 at 1:08 am

    the mosaic fox and dolphin have got me !! this is usable art! i would love something like that in my bathroom

  67. Warld
    June 21, 2020 at 8:04 am

    Such a amazing designs! Animal art in bathroom looks beautiful.

  68. Kathy
    June 21, 2020 at 11:28 am

    The foxy one is best for me. It looks unique and definitely stands out.

  69. remo
    June 21, 2020 at 11:57 am

    This is so cool, to say the least. Great art! I love The Abduction of Persephone by Pluto mosaic.

  70. Jen Walker
    June 21, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    The depth of the coy pond is incredible! We want to do tilework at our house, and I’d love to include some local desert animals in it!

  71. Kiwi
    June 21, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    These mosaics are so beautiful. The details are just tantalizing!

  72. Cindy E Ingalls
    June 21, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    The fish pond is amazing! It’s unbelievable what these artists can do!

  73. Sarah
    June 22, 2020 at 7:31 am

    So much hard work and creativity that goes into each and every one of these designs

  74. Candace Hampton
    June 23, 2020 at 7:11 am

    As always, these are beautiful. The fish pond mosaic is particularly amazing. Mosaics are such an old form of art. I find it fascinating to look back on the ones from 1,000s of years ago!

  75. Melanie williams
    July 10, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Just amazing how beautiful and lovely all this art is and being mosaic too makes it even more impressive x