Mosaic with the Removal of Briseis


Mosaic with the Removal of Briseis, Roman, A.D. 100 – 200, stone and glass

About to lose possession of the concubine Briseis to Agamemnon, Achilles sits morosely, leaning his head on his hand. This contest between two great Greek warriors set in motion the rest of Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad. Achilles’ companion Patrokles is on the far left, and an elderly bearded man, probably Phoenix, stands beside him in the center of this fragmentary Roman mosaic. Only Briseis’s face remains, just to the right of Phoenix; the rest of her body has been largely destroyed. At the right, partially preserved, are the two heralds who will take the slave girl to Agamemnon.

The Romans made mosaics from tesserae, tiny cubes of stone or occasionally other materials, set into a bed of mortar. They used mosaics to cover the floors in wealthy private homes and public buildings. Roman mosaics show strong regional differences; this example appears to have originated in the eastern Mediterranean in the 100s A.D. Mosaics in the formerly Greek areas of the eastern Mediterranean often depicted complex mythological themes such as this one.

Source : The J. Paul Getty Museum

About these ads

One thought on “Mosaic with the Removal of Briseis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s