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mosaic

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    2011,5005.1

  • Description

    Two fragments of a large mosaic. The upper, larger fragment shows a bearded man turning to his right, his upper torso naked. His arms are oustretched and clasp onto what appears to be vegetation of some sort: fronds of a plant and its stems are coloured shades of green, and slate grey. There is an area of damage above the man's right hand. The man wears a garment around his middle, its folds loosely bound like a loin cloth. The lower, smaller section preserves the man's left knee and shin and part of the right knee and shin. The man has a powerful, thick- set body with a well-developed musculature. The loin cloth might be a lion's skin, the head of which might hang behind the man's lower, left leg. This would then identify the subject as Hercules. The face appears rather battered and areas of deeper red might indicate the type of bruising that affects a boxer or wrestler, but here Hercules might stand as the legendary founder of the Olympic Games, and patron of athletes.

    More 

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • AD 200 (about)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 1.88 metres (in total)
    • Width: 0.99 metres
  • Location

    G69

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    5 March 2012

    Treatment proposal

    Improve fills/ gaps

    Paint the edges, and lightly clean.

    Condition

    The piece consists of two mosaic fragments, one depicting a bearded figure of a male, down to below his waist, and the other, smaller fragment shows a section of his legs, with some drapery, possibly lion skin. Both fragments have been re-backed and are sound and stable, mounted on a large, varnished backing board. Two missing areas of tesserae have been filled recessed using a mortar / sand mix. The edges of the mosaic have been finished using plaster of Paris, and painted black. Much of this black paint continues on to the surface of the mosaic, covering some of the tesserae.

    Treatment details

    Tests were carried out to remove the black paint, which was found to be highly soluble in either deionised water or acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone). A test area found that to remove it completely, however, several applications were necessary, and some staining to the grout surrounding the tesserae remained. Consequently it was decided to mechanically remove the top 5 mm of plaster fill, taking with it much of the black paint. The remaining black could then be mechanically reduced using a scalpel and then removed by rolling a swab of acetone over the surface. The edging was then replaced using a combination of Microballoons (silica or phenolic resin), in a 20 % solution of Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in IMS (Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) : Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone)1:1), and Flügger (acrylic putty). This fill to the top edge and the remaining black edge beneath were then toned in to a less obtrusive finish, using Rowney's Cryla colours (acrylic). The curator requested that the two patches of missing tesserae were skimmed and painted to a mid tone, remaining recessed from the mosaic surface. This was carried out using Flugger and painted using Rowney's Cryla colours (acrylic).

    The surface was cleaned using deionised water, and a thin, protective layer of PEG (polyethylene glycol) applied to the surface.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition notes

    Found unregistered at Orsman Road - noted in the P&E collections by ex members of staff as far back as the 1960s and 1970s. The mounting system is of a type obsolete by the late 1960s.

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    2011,5005.1

Two fragments of a large mosaic.  The upper, larger fragment shows a bearded man turning to his right, his upper torso naked.  His arms are oustretched and clasp onto what appears to be vegetation of some sort: fronds of a plant and its stems are coloured shades of green, brown and turquoise.  There is an area of damage above the man's right hand.  The man wears a garment around his middle, its folds loosely bound like a loin cloth.  The lower, smaller section preserves the man's left knee and shin and part of the right knee and shin. The man has a powerful, thick- set body with a well-developed musculature.  The face appears rather battered and areas of deeper red might indicate the type of bruising that affects a  boxer, possibly the subject of this mosaic.

Two fragments of a large mosaic. The upper, larger fragment shows a bearded man turning to his right, his upper torso naked. His arms are oustretched and clasp onto what appears to be vegetation of some sort: fronds of a plant and its stems are coloured shades of green, brown and turquoise. There is an area of damage above the man's right hand. The man wears a garment around his middle, its folds loosely bound like a loin cloth. The lower, smaller section preserves the man's left knee and shin and part of the right knee and shin. The man has a powerful, thick- set body with a well-developed musculature. The face appears rather battered and areas of deeper red might indicate the type of bruising that affects a boxer, possibly the subject of this mosaic.

Image description

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Object reference number: GAA87750

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