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2017 Dates

Nov.08-Dec 02

Flagship Gallery

Butter Gallery Collingwood.

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Oct. McMichael Gallery
April, Carnegie Gallery
May, Arta Gallery
June 03, 04, RAW
June 25, Guelph.
July 14, 15, 16, TOAE
August 07, Oakville,
Sept. 1,2,3,4 Distillery District,

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The ASAROTON

This Asaroton mosaic is found in Aquileia, an ancient Roman city in northern Italy at the head of the Adriatic. The mosaic was discovered in 1859 in a domus (a Roman upper-class house) situated northwest of the Basilica and southeast of the Forum, but the location of this domus has never been identified with exactness. The Asaroton has been dated to the second half of the first century BC. The mosaic was torn off the floor in 1859, and this caused considerable damage. After the removal, it was restored in nine separate panels, and then reassembled in a single piece between 1919 and 1922. It was then transported to the Aquileia Museum and displayed to the public. The dimensions are 2.49 m x 2.33 m. The technique adopted is the so-called opus vermiculatum: this means the use of very small (from 1 mm to 4 mm) tesserae of different dimensions and irregular shapes that create a multicoloured and variegated effect. This mosaic follows the theme of the asarotos oikos (unswept floor), invented by Soso, a mosaicist from Pergamon, an ancient Greek city. The Asaroton depicts the remains of a banquet, on a neutral background. From this we may deduce that the theme of the unswept room was characteristic of the triclinium, the dining room in the Roman domus. The images are oriented outwards, towards the people taking part in the banquet, and a double-braiding frame contours the four sides of the mosaic. In the centre of the mosaic is an emblema (an emblem), a figurative mosaic panel created separately and inserted into the Asaroton. Only two details of this emblema still exist today, and they can be seen in two opposite corners: the paw of a feline and the wings of a bird. The asarotos has been given two meanings: 1. The display of wealth of the dominus (the owner of the house): the asarotos depicted the Roman custom of throwing the remains of food on the floor. 2. The funerary theme: during feasts in honour of the dead, food was offered to the deceased by throwing it on the floor. Mosaics featuring the asarotos theme also have been found in Rome and in Tunisia (in El Djem and Oudna). Another was found in a byzantine basilica in Sidi-Abich, but it has been destroyed.

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This reproduction has been executed respecting all the details found on the original mosaic, the technique, lines and number of tessere (stones) used have been carefully maintained. The areas of missing tessere called lacune have been left empty as found in the restored original. Each tessera in the mosaic has been cut by hand from natural stone, marble and granite, using the hammer and hardie, the virtually unchanged tools used by the roman mosaic artisans. completed in 2013. 

 

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