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If you have visited Rome, or the surrounding Latium (Lazio region) you have, no doubt, seen floors like these. So striking - hard not to notice - and the intricacies, craftsmanship and colours are amazing. The Cosmati were a Roman family, spanning four generations between the 12th & 13th c. AD, of sculptors, architects and workers in decorative geometric mosaic. The designs are to be found in churches, mostly on the floors but also on pulpits, doors, columns, tombs and other areas.
Pictured are some fine examples of this type of flooring in Rome and Lazio. As you can see the tiny mosaic pieces of coloured stone and glass are triangular, rectangular and rhomboid in shape - some inlaid with gold. One can notice the Byzantine and Islamic influences in the style of the work, coming down through Ravenna, and up through Sicily.
The main locations in Rome are:
Some of the best examples outside of Rome in Lazio are:
Curious note: Westminster Abbey has two Cosmatesque pavements, created during the same period - one is set before the High Alter and the other is in the Sanctuary associated with the Shrine of Edward the Confessor.
Below are examples photographed from around Rome and the Lazio region.
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