Specially manufactured pieces called tesserae were first used in the eight century B.C. These pieces gave extra detail and range of color to the relatively plain mosaic work which was prominent in the earlier centuries. Pompeii famous works of art were done by Greek artists.The mosaic showing the god Neptune with Amphitrite on the right is in Herculaneum, Italy. It is a wall mosaic which uses pieces of glass to give the vivid colors and to reflect light. In this Mosaic the tesserae were mainly small cubes of marble or other stone. Sometimes bits of pottery, such as terra-cotta, brick were used to provide a range of colors.
The expansion of the Roman Empire made mosaic more popular . Roman Mosaic art usually focused on Gods, domestic themes and geometric designs.
With the rise of the Byzantine Empire from the fifth century to near two hundred years the art form focused on the Byzantium. This involved Oriental influences in style and the use of special glass tesserae called smalti, manufactured in northern Italy. These were made from thick sheets of colored glass. Smalti have a rough surface and contain tiny air bubbles.
Mosaic art of Romans is mainly seen on floors while Byzantine art covers Walls and Ceilings. The mystifying ceiling of the baptistery in Florence, Italy. Such other enchanting pieces of art can be found in Ravenna, Venice and Sicily and in Istanbul.The sight of such beautiful Mosaics captivates your senses and you certainly wish to have mosaic masterpiece of your very own.