Cosmati work

Type of decorative inlay or mosaic used by Roman decorators and architects in the 12th–13th centuries.

Small pieces of coloured stone and glass were combined with strips and disks of white marble arranged in geometric patterns. Cosmati work was used for architectural decoration and church furnishings. The term derives from craftsmen of several families named Cosmatus.

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▪ mosaic technique
 type of mosaic technique that was practiced by Roman decorators and architects in the 12th and 13th centuries, in which tiny triangles and squares of coloured stone (red porphyry, green serpentine, and white and other coloured marbles) and glass paste were arranged in patterns and combined with large, stone disks and strips to produce geometric designs. Cosmati work was applied to architectural surfaces and to church furniture.

      The word Cosmati comes from the name Cosma, which belonged to a number of members of the several families involved in the art. Cosmati work differs from the several similar mosaic techniques that flourished in Italy at about the same time mainly by its design, which balances areas of busy, intricate pattern with smooth areas of plain stone following the ancient Roman tradition of clarity, simplicity, and monumentality. The production of Cosmati work was interrupted in the 14th century by the temporary transferral of the papal seat to Avignon, Fr., and subsequently reappeared only in a debased form.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cosmati work — (ˈ)käz|mäd.ē , (ˈ)kōz| noun Usage: usually capitalized C Etymology: after Cosmati, a group of Italian artists active in Rome and vicinity from ab1150 1320, plural of the name Cosmas; from the fact that many members of the group had the given name …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cosmati — Floor in Cosmati style from the Cathedral at Terracina The Cosmati were a Roman family, seven members of which, for four generations, were skilful architects, sculptors and workers in decorative geometric mosaic, mostly for church floors. Their… …   Wikipedia

  • work — /werrk/, n., adj., v., worked or (Archaic except for 35, 37, 40) wrought; working. n. 1. exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil. 2. something on which exertion or labor is expended; a task or undertaking: The… …   Universalium

  • Work — /werrk/, n. Henry Clay, 1832 84, U.S. songwriter. * * * I In economics and sociology, the activities and labour necessary for the survival of society. As early as 40,000 BC, hunters worked in groups to track and kill animals, while younger or… …   Universalium

  • Cosmati Mosaic — • A peculiar style of inlaid ornamental mosaic introduced into the decorative art of Europe during the twelfth century Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Cosmati Mosaic     Cosmati Mosaic …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Cos|ma|ti work — «koz MAH tee», a style of architectural decoration characterized by the use of mosaics. ╂[< Cosmati, a family of architects and sculptors, who lived in Rome in the 1200 s] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cosmatesque — screen at the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano. Some works of Deodatus di Cosma for Colonna family are housed in the basilica. Cosmatesque, or Cosmati, is a style of geometric decorative inlay stonework typical of Medieval Italy, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Italy — /it l ee/, n. a republic in S Europe, comprising a peninsula S of the Alps, and Sicily, Sardinia, Elba, and other smaller islands: a kingdom 1870 1946. 57,534,088; 116,294 sq. mi. (301,200 sq. km). Cap.: Rome. Italian, Italia. * * * Italy… …   Universalium

  • Mosaics — • Includes information on the history and techniques Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Mosaics     Mosaics     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • MARBLE —    The Ancient Roman Emperor Augustus reportedly stated, I found a city of brick and left it a city of marble. This sentiment echoes the love of marble found across the Ancient Greek and Roman empires during their high points. The term marmaros,… …   Historical Dictionary of Architecture

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