The first comprehensive book to be published about the magnificent collection of mosaics housed in Palazzo Massimo, including general articles about the art of mosaics, technical charts and an unprecedented number of illustrations.
For the first time, the catalog describes all the mosaics and marble inlays in the collection of the National Roman Museum, on display at Palazzo Massimo, from a time-span ranging from the Late Hellenistic period (2nd-1st century BC) to the Late Antique period (4th-5th century AD). This truly exceptional and very diverse collection includes mosaic floors detached from the rooms of Roman domus (houses) and villas in Rome and Lazio. These highly sophisticated floors have frames decorated with geometric or natural motifs surrounding emblemata with mythological, pastoral or grotesque scenes, or other motifs. Some of the most famous are the mosaics depicting the factions of the circus from the Villa of Baccanus. Other masterpieces includes mosaics in the style known as opus sectile, such as the face of Helios from the mithraeum of Santa Prisca and the figurative panels from the Basilica of Junius Bassus. The book contains introductory pieces about the history of the collection, telling how mosaics were made and how they are conserved. There are also technical charts about individual works, with introductions explaining how they were found, backed up by historical images and comparisons with other works.