History: The Art of MosaicsHistory: The Art of Mosaics

The Art of Mosaics, in one form or another, has been practiced for thousands of years, but mosaic art as it is known today was invented by the Greeks, who then passed their skills on to the Romans. Then in due course, the art was embraced by the Byzantines, who were renowned for their superb wall and vault mosaics. Byzantium fell in the 15th century AD, and mosaic art went into a decline until the great revival in the 19th century, which continues to the present day.

Mosaic Art has a long history in Cyprus. During the 12th century, when Byzantine art was reaching ever high levels, mosaic life in Cyprus was on the rise too and many new monasteries and churches were built and decorated with works of Mosaic.

The Earliest Mosaics to be discovered by archaeologists to date are those found in Mesopotamia and it is estimated that they originate from as far back as 3000 B.C. They are relatively small in size and appear crude by today’s standards. Other mosaics estimated to be from the same period are those encountered in Egyptian and Persian monuments. We can, however suppose that there exist even older mosaics, dating from the time when Man first emerged from caves and started building houses and roads, that is to say from the beginning of civilisation.
It seems though that it was the Greeks, around the fourth century B.C. who first developed the making of mosaics into an art and gave them a different dimension. It also appears that, during the Classical era, this art was not appreciated in the same ways the architecture and sculpture were.