Monday, April 7, 2008

Historical artists capture Roman Mosaics in vivid color drawing

As I have mentioned before, ancient mosaics are among my favorite art forms. To bring out the vibrant original color I always turn up the contrast in Photoshop whenever I process an images of a mosaic I have photographed. David Neal has a different approach:

"Roman mosaics are perhaps the most spectacular Roman remains in Britain. Many of the finest come from Roman villas, where they reflect the high artistic tastes of the wealthy villa owners in the fourth century. Most are in colour, and many are figured, almost always with classical scenes.

David Neal has been painting mosaics for many years in his capacity of chief illustrator of English Heritage, but following his retirement, he joined with Steve Cosh to produce a corpus in four volumes of all the known mosaics in the country. Between them they set out to paint them all by hand: many of them are only known from oblique black-and-white photos, but by drawing them, and restoring the original colours where these are known, it is possible to show just what they originally looked like.

They hope to publish them in four volumes - providing they can find a suitable publisher."

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