Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wedding Bonus

Those who were lucky enough to have a seat in Westminster Abbey for the royal wedding last Friday might have caught a glimpse of this floor. It is a mosaic created in 1268 (!) but usually covered up when the Abbey was used for special occasions because it was in such disrepair. It was recently restored with the help of a grant from the Getty Foundation (read the full story here).

It's called the Cosmati pavement after its Italian creators, a family of famous skilled artisans of the time. The floor is 24 feet square (which actually makes my knees hurt just thinking about the time it took to create). It's truly a stunning and intricate Medieval piece - almost abstract, with its variety of designs and images that are all different. In addition to marble, the floor is made from onyx, purple porphyry, green serpentine, and yellow limestone, with opaque glass pieces in cobalt blue, red, turquoise, and bluish-white. It is a clear testament to the enduring beauty of mosaic in all its forms.   

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