Thursday, June 10, 2010
Look for treasures beyond the exteriors: Florence, The Baptistery
This just has to be very quick. I would like to post mosaics according to location so I decided to start with Florence which is not very far from where I live and because something made me recall these specific mosaics. A spectacular place that people enchanted with the town know and recognise for its exterior and for the gilded bronze doors.
If you are visiting Florence go to the Baptistery to see these mosaics and let them mesmerise you for a while. You will begin wondering how on earth where they made. Well. I always asked myself this question when I see Hagia Sofia mosaics, Ravenna, Monreale in Sicily, or the endless mosaic floors in Paphos in Cyprus to name a few examples. But the people back then lived indeed in "different times". No wrist watches, no mobile phones, no crazy agendas. They did this obviously as a means to survive but they were devoted to their art no matter how long it took them. There were those who were simple technicians and those who designed, or the supervisors. Today we would have to fit all these skills into one. And become somewhat lunatic, maybe restless and completely distracted. Multi-tasking? Oh. It has to become second nature otherwise you are nothing. Not a true artist. But consider that with mosaics apart from the designing process you need to know about additives, cement, cutting tools and techniques, liquids etc. This is why I think that in the past, it was better, except for one flaw: anonymity and perhaps another one: bad working conditions. But right now in my life I would not mind if someone said "come decorate a church and for the next 3 years we cover all your costs"! (especially if that church was in an idyllic place and I can think of many).