Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Millions of stone floors

You know I love a good floor! Medieval tiles, mosaics, the floor of the Louvre which I've been meaning to knit into a blanket for many years, cobbles, marble, wood!

I have here about a gazillion pictures. I'll try to be quick, though!

Nice, orderly cobbles in any old street
Cobbles with grout and moss

The Pantheon is an ancient Roman building, and I'm told the floor is original. People have been walking on this for two thousand years, so in some places it's a tad worse for wear.

They roped off the centre bit because it was raining, and of course the Pantheon is the one with the big hole in the middle of the ceiling! There are discreet drain holes right under the oculus. We saw another floor that had been excavated in the Forum that had the same sort of large pattern of coloured marbles.

These next two are Roman mosaics from the Capitoline Museum. I think Kaffe Fassett may have used both of these for inspiration. Those blocks in the middle look a bit like this, and I'm sure I've seen them elsewhere.

This one certainly is very like his Mosaic waistcoat. Védís Jónsdóttir has a pattern called Ravenna, which is also very similar. The colours in both these are amazingly bright, and the work is simply mind-boggling. 

We didn't go to as many churches as one could! We missed tons, big and small, full of art and surprises and lovely floors. We did go to Santa Maria in Aracoeli which is next to the big ol' Vittoriano monument -- which I may just show you another day. We also stopped in at San Giovanni di Laterano, the church where the Pope sits as bishop of Rome. It's big and old and I think these two memorials are in it. Of course, Santa Maria in Aracoeli is also old.

These are both on the floor, and have been for centuries. This poor old guy has blended wonderfully into the floor! Sic transit gloria mundi, etc.

The floor patterns in the two churches were also a bit similar. I think it's safe to say the more "sophisticated" looking ones are from San Giovanni and the more freestyle ones from Santa Maria. I have just learned that this style of floor is called "cosmatesque." So, there, now we all know.

bit of a jog here!

A huge expanse, outlined with these little quilt-pattern stones! Squares, triangles, half-circles and more.

This is great and simple and pretty regular.
Add colour for more fantasticness!
Each square is about 2-3 inches on a side. Glorious!
Was this where they used up scraps? 
Different edgings, great corner circle
Swirls around the drain. Very sophisticated work
Oh, it just goes on and on! 
Tiny work and big work 
Simple yet elegant!

These last ones are from St Peter's at the Vatican. I'll show you more of the church later, but thought I'd put the floors in here. It is all on such a huge scale that it is hard to get a good picture. I need an aerial view!

Curlicues, fancy!
Lots of colour!

This sort of thing is just plain showing off. That is stone! How does it fit together so perfectly?

And that is most of my pictures of inspiring floors. I have a few more mosaics up my sleeve. And the Vatican and the Colosseum and other great Roman concrete-and-brick constructions.

But you know, we didn't take a single picture of anyone eating gelato!


  1. fantastic mary!!
    lily and i were mesmerized by all the different styles and patterns!
    i for one am glad you too so many floor photos!


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