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Ancient Mosaics Paperback – 1998


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Paperback, 1998
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: British Museum; 1st Ed. edition (1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714122181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714122182
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,535,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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He knows his subject and writes with clarity.
William Prueter
I've only had the book for 13 hours so am anxious to get home and pick it up for another read.
Shoshanna
Beautiful photographs, wish there were a-whole-lot more.
Terri A. Morrison (norseman@televar.com)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Anaxila on October 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
This title is absolutely worth every penny. Though weighing in at only 143 pages, it is deceptively meaty and educational. The 106 selected photos (47 color and 49 B/W) are crisp, beautiful, and plentiful, and the inclusion of a maps and a glossary were also helpful. The mosaics selected for illustration are sublime, and even those ravaged by time are hardly less beautiful for it. Chapters are (in order) Intro, Greek Period, Roman Italy, Roman North-West, Roman Africa, Wall and Vault Mounts, and Context and Meaning. In a book of this length each chapter is necessarily short, but the examples chosen to illustrate each section are well-chosen to guide further study in selected areas.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Terri A. Morrison (norseman@televar.com) on January 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
I really appreciate scholarly works like this book. I've been trying to find a good book on the history of mosaics that is - in-print - and this is it! Excellent documentation! Not too - dry - of a read either. A big thanks to Roger Ling for the enlightenment. Beautiful photographs, wish there were a-whole-lot more.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By L. Sanabria on October 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was a disappointment and when I look at the ridiculous prices being asked for it these days ($62.00 for the cheapest copy!!), I got motivated to write a review. It all depends on your expectations. If you want information on Greek and Roman mosaics, on the history and techniques, then this book has a lot of information, even if it is a short book (140 pages). But if you want stunning pictures of ancient mosaics, this is not the book to get. The book has 47 color pictures and 49 black/white pictures. The pictures tend to be small, as the priority is given to the text, not the photographs.
My interest is in Byzantine mosaics. Two books that have good color pictures of Byzantine mosaics are: "Byzantine Art" by Jannic Durand, and "Byzantium: from Antiquity to the Renaissance" by Thomas Mathews, which is a smaller book, but also has many color photographs. Neither of those would qualify as a coffee table book, but the one by Durand comes closest to that.
German publisher Konemman came out with a book which is oversize that probably has lots of picture of Byzantine art (as well as Ottoman art), called "Constantinople: Istanbul's historical heritage", by Stephane Yerasimos. I have not seen it yet, but Konemann's books are usually "feast for the eyes" material.
I don't know of book on ancient mosaics in general (not just Byzantine) that has great color photographs. If that is your interest, surely this one by Roger Ling is not the one.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shoshanna on January 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Mr. Ling, as our tour guide, transports us back in time and from Africa to ancient England, sharing the history, development and travel/migration of this peculiar art form. His 'tour bus' stops frequently at wonderful examples as he shares bits of history, syles, techniques and other information quickly and painlessly.

Aside from detailed instructions on "How To", Mr. Ling's book gives everything else one could ask for. Actually, one could make mosaics learning from this book, it just doesn't have that particular focus.

I've only had the book for 13 hours so am anxious to get home and pick it up for another read.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful By William Prueter on April 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Roger Ling is a true scholar. He knows his subject and writes with clarity. He describes the method of creating a mosaic. This was a tedious task which required inserting a slender piece of baked clay or glass or marble into wet cement. Thus only a very small section could be done at a time. These pieces of baked clay are called tesserae. Some are one half inch by one half inch. Others are slender little guys only one millimeter by perhaps two millimeter. These were used to make a mosaic such as that of the doves found in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. Mosaics were placed on the walls, floors and ceilings. Most which survive are from the floor. This makes sense. When a building collapses most mosaics of the walls and ceiling would perish but conceal and protect the mosaic floor below. Mosaics were monochrome, also highly colorful. There was much experimentation. Some mosaics display a three dimensional effect. Some reproduce famous paintings. Some display reproduction of a painting with modifications made by the artists or the patron of the piece. Some of the experimentation in mosaics ended up influencing architectural design. I suggest reading Pinto's and MacDonald's Hadrian's Villa and Its Legacy. Studies are under way to trace mosaicists works found in areas stretching over large parts of Italy and Europe. Mosaic patterns in various rooms can be used on occasion to determine what use that room had. Evidently mosaics in triclinia (dining rooms) were designed to generate discussion. I would highly recommend reading Linda Farrar's Ancient Romans Gardens after reading this book.
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