Corinth Object: MOS 1925 2
Collection:   Corinth
Type:   Object
Name:   MOS 1925 2
Title:   TESSELATED FLOOR: HERDSMAN
Category:   Architecture
Category Code:   MOS
Year:   1925
Object Number:   2
Old Number:   A-610 (number lapsed)
Description:   Mosaic figural panel from tesselated floor. Border on all sides: guilloche. Tesserae of cubes range from H. 0.015 and W. 0.013 to H. 0.002 and W. 0.002; larger, more square for geometric designs and smaller, irregular, for figures. Glass used for bright green and blue colors. Cubes set in cement bt artist in his atelier working from painting and subsequently completed unit in one or more pieces brought to place it was to be set; laid as whole on cement foundation. Opus vermiculatum for figures. When first found, Shear dated as Hellenistic; now considered Roman.
Decoration:   Pastoral scene: Herdsman facing right, playing flute, leaning against olive tree, standing on left of picture, with scattered locks of brown hair, naked, and standing on right leg with left leg crossed over right. Leopard's skin hangs down his left side and tied aroung hid neck. Three oxen on right: two walking away from herdmans toward right; one facing herdsman lying down. Yellow cooking pot on ground in center of picture to right of tree which casts shadow on ground; liquid inside. Hill rises up behind oxen with shrub half way up it, white sky above. Few rocks on far right as well as five green shrubs scattered on ground. Ground not even or flat but gradations near tree and near rocks at foot of hill. Around whole picture is guilloche pattern as border. Picture composed of many balances: upright element of herdsman and tree on left balanced by width of ground by red ox. Herdsman, playing pipe, concentrates on oxen so face seen in 3/4 view. Eyes turned toward oxen, body well-moulded and :use of many colors to portray slight changes in curvature makes figure look convincingly three dimensional. Oxen all drawn at different angles which gives variety and movement to picture. Ox at farthest right masterfully drawn: artist successful in attempt at foreshortening. Picture contained within border of two black lines, two white lines, then black around guilloche pattern. Color sequence of guilloche is brown, gray-blue, yellow. Many variations in browns on body of herdsman; portrays both gradations of shadow and plasticity of figure. Trunk of tree done in shades of grayish green and brown, making it look gnarled, possible olive tree. Leaves done in blue, green, and gray to show depth and shadow, for light playing off leaves. Three oxen in different colors: one nearest tree is gray, reclining one between other two is blue-black, and third is of terracotta. Different shades of color again used for shadow on bodies of oxen. Background white except for ground, which is done in three different shades: light brown, yellow-brown, and dark brown right in foreground. Use of light is important in picture: sun must be low on left of group for figures to cast shadows on ground in brownish shade. Even bucket with white streak, identifying contens as milk, casts shadow onto ground. All movement, including extension of shadows, towards right. Only opposition to this is middle ox who faces herdsman. All three oxen quite fat and coats glisten in light. Light playing on figures unites them as does general movement from left to right.
Material:   Limestone, terracotta, and glass tesserae in over 24 colors, mostly subdued hues, set in brown cement.
Condition:   Complete or intact. Well preserved complete mosaic panel belonging to larger floor area. Complete on all sides; some gaps in ground under feet of ox farthest to right, small gaps in guilloche and white background at upper left. Only figured panel with bor
Findspot Description:   Mosaic corner seen by George Kachros; Roman Villa excavated by Shear at Kokkinovrysi starting 1925/04/13. Grid: E-15/16. South side of Atrium, Room A. 1925.
Bibliography:   AJA 1925, Vol. 29, p. 381-396; AIA Report 1924-25, p. 33-37; AJA 1927, Vol. 31, p. 329-337; Shear 1930, Corinth 5; Gnomen VIII 1932, p. 169-170; Antike Welt 1997, Kankeleit, p. 317
Site:   Corinth
City:   Ancient Corinth
Country:   Greece
References:   Images (19)
Card: MOS 1925 2, side A
Card: MOS 1925 2, side B