Cosmatesque Pavement

Cosmatesque pavement, thirteenth century, Cathedral of Sessa Aurunca (click to enlarge)

Cosmatesque pavement, thirteenth century, Cathedral of Sessa Aurunca (click to enlarge)

Restoration in progress at the cathedral permits a rare unobstructed view of the pavement.

The adjective ‘cosmatesque’ derives from the name of a family of marble workers, the Cosmati, who worked in and around Rome in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Their works, and the works of those who emulated their style, are characterized by geometric motifs formed of cut pieces of marble and other stones, like porphyry. The materials used were often spolia; the large circular slabs, for example, were sliced from ancient columns.

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6 responses to “Cosmatesque Pavement

  1. They did, Gail. Now they're working on something in the apse (some 18th-century decoration, I think, I have to admit I've never paid much attention to the later additions to the cathedral) and the façade.I do too, Saretta! Does Molftetta's cathedral have a mosaic pavement?Reb, it is one fine lookin' pavement. I've read that a third of the whole was destroyed when they enlarged the presbytery in the eighteenth century. Sadness.

  2. I'm not sure why, but I find these floors very powerful. A million years ago when I went to Conques, I was gobsmacked by the fragments of the church floor preserved on the walls of the museum basement. The personnel thought I was nuts, but I'll never see them again. Can't imagine how stupid happy I'd be to see that floor!

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