Painting for Eternity
Some of the finest examples of Old-World mosaics can be found in Ravenna, Italy. And the city is still producing world-renowned mosaic artisans to this day. A CRAFTSMANSHIP mini-documentary film.
A Film by LUISA GROSSO
Back in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D., after Ravenna was made the capital of the Roman Empire, a number of churches, mausoleums, and other grand buildings were constructed here and embellished with unusually luminescent mosaics. Composed of pebbles, stone fragments, shells, terracotta, pearls, ivory, and variously colored pastes, all serving to illustrate various religious and mystical scenes, the mosaics have continued to dazzle visitors for centuries. The collection is considered so remarkable that, in 1996, Ravenna’s ancient buildings were classified as a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Today, Ravenna is still home to a surprising number of mosaic artisans, some of whom have attained international renown on their own. In this documentary short (which runs a mere 9 minutes, viewable from the link below), Luisa Grosso takes us from the works of the ancient past to the mosaic artisans and innovators of today. One such innovator is Francesca Fabbri, who has produced remarkable mosaics commemorating figures such as Rajiv Ghandi of India, and the legendary Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev. To entice you further, here’s a little teaser: the Nureyev mosaic is not a depiction of the dancer himself; it’s a replica, in richly and radiantly colored tiles, of one of Nureyev’s most treasured possessions, which he kept with him for comfort while on tour.