In a very minor way, tonight I took a few small footsteps in the journeys of the great Cosmati. Who were the Cosmati, you might ask? If you answered 'the secret society in the film Tomb Raider', that is not correct, however you get extra credit for making me think of Angelina Jolie in shorts with pistols.
The Cosmati were families of artistic stone workers sharing the name 'Cosma' around 1000 years ago. Several generations of people in the family made very mathematically complex mosaics. Many of their works are geometric styled with triangles, circles, parallel-o-grams, and yes, even rhombuses.
Some typical examples of their work...
Not only known for just architectural mosaics that had the effect of showing you what you see when you rub your eyes way too hard, but they were also well known sculptors and art dealers.
The wealthy and powerful revered their work in the early and even late middle ages. Well heck, even now if I count myself, right? For example, Pope Iulius II had his logo done in their style (he was the 'warrior' pope who layed the first brick of the brand spanking new 'St. Peter's Cathederal' in Rome around 1500).
All manner of medieval palaces used their flooring, for example Ca d'Oro in Venice, not to be much outdone by St. Marks cathedral, had a nice Cosmati styled floor put in on their canal entrance.
An art mosaic project I'm working on requires traditional stones that the Cosmati used once upon a time. I have had some tiny pieces of green serpentine left over, so I've made some of these into triangles like those typically used in the pavements of the Cosmati. I was thinking of making a replica Ca d'Oro floor, but for now, I will just use these triangles for making some 'Cosmati' cufflinks.
That's the kind of thing Bored Neoclassical Guy would do, right?
The Empire’s Ghost by Isabelle Steiger
12 hours ago