MosaicBlues: The first known mosaicist ! .entry-content { font-size:25px !important; }

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The first known mosaicist !

Gnosis (Greek: Γνῶσις) is the name of the artist who signed upon the famous 'Stag Hunt mosaic' from the 'House of the Abduction of Helen' in Pella, capital of the Macedonian Kingdom. 

Ancient Greece and Macedonia.

This magnificent pebble floor mosaic is dated from the late 4th century BC.

Stag Hunt Mosaic - 3.24 x 3.17 me - 12.5 x 12.4 feet

Detail of the Central Emblema

The Personages

The hunter on the right could be Alexander the Great Pella was his birthplace, and he had died in 323 BC, 20 to 30 years before the execution of this mosaic.
The figure to the left wields a double-headed axe, related to the God Hephaistos; hence it could be Alexander's best friend and confident General Hephaestion.
The dog could be Alexander's favourite Peritas.


"ΓΝΩΣΙΣ ΕΠΟΗΣΕΝ" - Gnosis Epoesen, Gnosis made this - is the first signature known to us of a mosaicist. Nothing else is known from this talented individual. "Gnosis" means "knowledge" in ancient Greek, and this person certainly was very knowledgeable about his or her Art.

Technical Innovations

An other very interesting aspects of the Pella Mosaics (There are other magnificent ones, but it is not the place...) is that the artists who executed them used techniques no one - to our knowledge - had used before
In Pella for the first time some details were made of semi-precious stones or glass tesserae, and strips of lead and bands of baked clay were also used to emphasize the outlines. 

Dyonisos riding a Panther - Pella, 4th century BC

The Pella Mosaics are displayed at the Archaeological Museum of Pella

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to

If you are interested in purchasing one of my mosaics, would like to commission a special project or to simply discuss the wonderful art of modern and ancient mosaics, please contact me by email at or by phone at (334) 798 1639. 

No comments:

Post a Comment