It’s hard to beat the Romans when it comes to the mosaic. Take these wonderful examples from Pompeii, which I saw last November.
From a distance you might be looking at a painting. Colour, shading, design, all are remarkably vivid. It is high art.
In Prague the art of the mosaic is a lower one, but still flourishes, beneath our feet. True, these pavement mosaics are usually two-tone and use larger, cruder tesserae (I found that word in Wikipedia!) but isn’t it marvellous that the city is still prepared to finance this hugely labour-intensive way of constructing a pavement? It would surely be easier to pour hot tarmac.
I’m celebrating the Prague pavement mosaic because the street that takes me from my apartment to the metro is being completely reconstructed, including new tram lines, a new road surface, new kerbs and new pavements, replacing the dreary concrete tiles slapped down in the 1970s.
Of course, it will be tap-tap-tap for weeks as the army of mosaic makers work their way along the road. But the result will be worth waiting for.
Here’s a compilation of some other pavements in Prague:
None, though, celebrates masculinity as promiscuously as those in Pompeii.