The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, December 27, 2014


Renowned ancient Roman mosaic from Israel, on international tour, makes final U.S. stop at the Penn Museum
This is the main panel of the Lod Mosaic. Measuring 13 by 13 feet and set in the center of one of the floors, it is divided into a series of smaller squares and triangles by an interlocking cable pattern, forming an outer polygon of twelve sides and sixteen square and triangular segments in which various birds, fish, and animals are depicted. These surround a larger octagonal space populated by ferocious wild animals—a lion and lioness, an elephant, a giraffe, a rhinoceros, a tiger, and a wild bull—with a mountainous landscape in the background. The mosaic scene is flanked by two smaller rectangular panels, not seen here. Of exceptional quality and in an excellent state of conservation, the Lod mosaic is believed to have been part of a large and well-appointed Roman house and is dated to about 300 C.E. Image © Israel Antiquities Authority.
PHILADELPHIA, PA.- A large and exceptionally well-preserved ancient Roman floor mosaic, discovered in Lod, Israel, in 1996, and excavated in 2009, makes its final United States stop at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia before traveling to the Louvre in Paris and eventually, to a new museum being built just for it in Israel.

In 1996, workmen widening a road in Lod (formerly Lydda), Israel, made a startling discovery: signs of a Roman mosaic pavement were found about three feet below the modern ground surface. A rescue excavation conducted immediately by the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed a mosaic floor approximately 50 feet long by 27 feet wide. Of exceptional quality and in an excellent state of preservation, the complete mosaic, comprising seven panels, is symmetrically divided into two large "carpets" by a long rectangular horizontal panel. To preserve the mosaic, it was reburied until funding was secured for its full scientific excavation and conservation in 2009.

The mosaic floor is believed to come from the home of a wealthy Roman living in the Eastern Roman Empire at about 300 CE. Because the mosaic's imagery has no overt religious content, it cannot be determined whether the owner was a pagan, a Jew, or a Christian.

The exhibition features the three most complete and impressive panels found in what was probably a large reception room. Within the central panel—which measures 13 feet square—is a series of smaller squares and triangles depicting various birds, fish, and animals that surround a larger octagonal scene with ferocious wild animals—a lion and lioness, an elephant, a giraffe, a rhinoceros, a tiger, and a bull. Such animals were well known to the Romans since they appeared at gladiatorial games, where they were pitted either against each other or against human adversaries. It is indeed possible that the owner of the house was involved in the capture and trade of exotic animals for the games, which was a very lucrative profession during the empire.

The mosaic may therefore represent the largesse that the owner had conferred by staging games with wild animal hunts. Flanking the central panel to the north and south are two smaller, rectangular end panels. The north panel explores the same theme as the main panel with various creatures; the south panel is devoted to a single marine scene, complete with two Roman merchant ships. None of the mosaics contain human figures.

The footprints of several workers involved in laying the floor about 1,700 years ago—some wearing sandals and others working barefoot—were also found, and preserved to be shown in the exhibition.

Lod is located near Tel Aviv, and the site was initially settled in the 5th millennium BCE. Its name appears in the written record as early as the 15th century BCE—in a list of towns in Canaan that was compiled during the reign of the pharaoh Thutmose III (1479–1425 BCE)—and also in the Old and New Testaments. In the 1st century CE, the inhabitants of Lod were sold into slavery and subsequently the town was razed. A Roman colony under the name of Diospolis (City of God) was established there in 200 CE.

Unearthing a Masterpiece relates both the history of the discovery and the story of the mosaic, its painstaking removal and conservation, told in original text, as well as a video created by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), who premiered the mosaic in September 2010, before it traveled to the Legion of Honor Museum (San Francisco), The Field Museum (Chicago), and the Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, Ohio).

The Lod Mosaic is on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Center. Penn Museum is deeply grateful to the Women's Committee for lead sponsorship of Unearthing a Masterpiece: A Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel, as well as for generous underwriting of the restoration of the Upper Kamin Entrance doors. Additional support is provided by Alexandra and Eric J. Schoenberg, Ph.D., and by the Julian A. and Lois G. Brodsky Foundation. Renovations to the Pepper Gallery, where the Lod Mosaic is on display, were generously underwritten by an anonymous gift in memory of Michel and Nelly Abemayor.





Today's News

February 12, 2013

Spain's Prado Museum finds 'unique' painting of French ruler Louis of Orleans

First exhibition in Belgium to be devoted to Antoine Watteau opens at Bozar Expo

Renowned ancient Roman mosaic from Israel, on international tour, makes final U.S. stop at the Penn Museum

Frick presents first U.S. exhibition on Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca

In time for the Oscars, Philbrook Museum opens exhibition of photos from Hollywood's Golden Age

Paintings created by members of the Warli Tribe on view at Grosvenor Gallery in London

Retrospective provides first U.S. opportunity for reappraisal of photographer's work

Alberto Di Fabio unites the worlds of art and science in new installation at Estorick Collection

Morton & Eden to offer 1859 United States Proof set on behalf of the Royal Mint Museum

Asia Week New York rallies Asian art collectors with an unprecedented array of museum-quality exhibitions

Thirteen new and previously unseen photographs by Candida Höfer on view at Ben Brown Fine Arts

Tonya Cameron to auction European antiques and Asian art from fine Boston estates, Feb. 20

Art Madrid hosts 40 galleries in its 8th edition, and installs itself in the attic of the Chamartín station

Fruit basket of Field Marshall Sir Frederick, awarded Victoria Cross at Indian mutiny, on sale at Bonhams

Excquisite blue diamond ring worth over £1M by star jeweller highlights Bonhams Fine Jewellery Sale

Julien's Auctions announces sale of property from the collection of Elgin Baylor

Iconic Watchmen #1 cover art in Heritage Auctions Comics & Comic Art event in NYC

Art and spirituality in new exhibition at Valencian Institute of Modern Art

Traveling exhibition of the work of folk artist Bill Traylor comes to Mingei International Museum

Peter Blake to commemorate opening of Chiswick House Camellia Festival

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site