Mosaics in Pompeii

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Mosaic decoration was commonly used in the beautification of both private and public buildings in Pompeii and has been found in all different shapes, sizes locations and with all different purposes. Mosaics were often used as flooring in Pompeii were largely used to decorate floors and entrance walls to houses and other buildings, some representing importance, others advertisement and even propaganda. The panel depicting "The Battle of Alexander" housed in the Archaeological Museum in Naples and originating from the House of the Faun, is, though, one of the most important and magnificent examples. The Alexander Mosaic was found during the excavation of Pompeii in 1831 in the “Casa del Fauno” (House of the Faun), one of Pompeii's grandest residences. Today it is one of the most famous Roman mosaics. The work itse;f measures to 5.82 x 3.13 metres in size and there is debate as to what the mosaic represents, whether it was to depict the Battle of Issus between Alexander the Great and the Persian king Darius III in the year 333 BC or the battle of Gaugamela in the year 331 BC, where Alexander the Great and Darius clashed once again. There is also a belief that a Hellenistic painting was used as the model. The mosaic shows the magnificence of Greek monumental painting and four-colour painting. There is no debate however on its beauty, detail, the skill woven into each detailed plate of mosaic tiles and the time it would have taken to put such a delicate and intricate piece together. The piece is made of roughly 4 million white, yellow, red, and black tesserae. The picture shows Alexander galloping into battle with a mass of troops behind him on the left hand side, pursuing Darius into a battle. The picture also shows towards the right hand side of the mosaic, the Persians turning to flee, with a fearful loom from Darius as the only thing facing alexander and his men. Today, the original Alexander Mosaic is on display in the National Museum of Archaeology in...
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