GETTY VILLA EXHIBIT: ROMAN MOSAICS ACROSS THE EMPIRE
(3 min read)
For anyone interested in Roman art and history, a visit to the Getty Villa in Malibu, CA with its amazing antique collection and a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean is a must. Now until January 8, there is an additional incentive to visit this unique museum: their special exhibit focused on Roman mosaics.
Displayed in a facility inspired by the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum the mosaics can be admired in a gorgeous environment similar to the one they used to be part of.
Roman mosaics first appeared in the late 2nd century BC They were mainly inspired by earlier Greek mosaic which often depicted mythological scenes. Their popularity grew quickly and within a century mosaics decorated lavish residences and public buildings across all of the Roman Empire. Intricate patterns and scenes ranging from everyday life to arena fights were created by setting small pieces of stone or glass, called tesserae, into floors and walls. Itinerant craftsmen spread their knowledge across the Empire, leading to a variety of regional styles. The mosaics in the Getty exhibit date from the 2nd through the 6th centuries AD, and come from such widespread places as Italy, North Africa, Southern France, Turkey, and Syria.
Here are three particularly captivating examples to whet your appetite: