First of all a few of History. The origins of the Mosaic Art lose in the mists of times. The
Sumerians, the Egyptians and the Pre-Columbian Civilizations of South and Central America and
of Mexico too utilized the Art of Mosaic, with various techniques. In Greek Age the Mosaic
becomes one of the most refined forms of Art and succeeds even in replacing the typical Greek
Painting with Casel. The period of maximum splendor of Mosaic Art was in Roman Age. In fact
in the Ancient Rome the Mosaic spreads fully both as Wall Mosaic and as Floor Mosaic. The
subjects mainly depicted are Still Lives, Mythological-Historical Events, but Geometrical
Patterns too. The most used Materials are Tesserae of Onyx and of Vitreous Pastes, but also
Tesserae of Limestone Rocks and of Coloured Marbles. The Size of Tesserae was variable: the
Greeks utilized very small-size Tesserae, the Romans instead utilized small and medium-size
Tesserae, according to the use of the Mosaic. In Roman Age the Main Types of Mosaic were 5:
1 - OPUS SIGNINUM: Floor Mosaic. Tesserae with white cross-shaped variants or Tesserae mixed
with big fragments of Terracotta.
2 - OPUS SECTILE: Floor Mosaic. Coloured Stone Slabs with several shapes and dimensions.
3 - OPUS TESELLATUM: Floor Mosaic. Big Square or Rectangular Tesserae, all of the same Size,
used almost always to compose symmetrical and regular Patterns.
4 - OPUS VERMICULATUM: Floor and Wall Mosaic. Small and of various colors and forms Tesserae,
arranged in order to create a composition with pictorial characteristics. This technique was
often used to create a Square placed on the center of the floor, called Emblem, as it happens
also in some kind of Carpets.
5 - OPUS MUSIVUM: Wall Mosaic. Small and medium-size Tesserae. It represents the Mosaic for
Vaults and Walls and uses almost always Tesserae of Vitreous Paste.
In the Ancient Rome, the different types of Masters of the Creation of Mosaics were Four and
everyone of them had a specific job:
A - PICTOR IMMAGINARIUS: He was the Cartoon Master. He traced on a cardboard the design in
order to represent it after with the Mosaic, and suggested also the necessary colors.
B - PICTOR PARIETARIUS: He was the Artist who copied the design from the cardboard to wall or
to floor, magnifying the figures in proportion to the surface to cover with the Mosaic.
He calculated also the distances between the several figures, that he adapted to the form and
the size of the wall or floor to cover.
C - PICTOR MUSIVARIUS: He was the Artist who executed the Wall Mosaic, called Opus Musivum,
on Vaultes and Domes. He was a great connoisseur of the technical properties of the materials
he used after to obtain particular and personal effects.
D - PICTOR TESSELLARIUS: He was the Artist who executed Floor Mosaic, called Opus Tessellatum
The Program used for this Tutorial is Fractal Painter ©, from the Corel Corporation ©.
This tutorial is written for PC, but with the alternative keys is valid also for MacIntosh ©.
If you click with left mouse on image by side of text you will see it to more dimension.