Byzantine Mosaic Panel of Hermes

SKU: MS.0124

Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 5th to 6th century AD
Dimensions: 69" high x 39" wide (175 cm. x 99 cm)
Medium: Marble

Composed of multicoloured tesserae on a cream ground, depicting the seated god Hermes, wearing his winged cap, a toga with red clavi and a red chlamys fastened at each shoulder with a disc brooch, holding his caduceus in the crook of his left arm, his right arm held out, pointing with crooked finger, a wooded hill behind, with remains of border around top and right edge, inscribed in Greek above his head 'Hermes'

Private collection, UK, acquired Galerie Serres, Paris, June 1993

Mounted onto modern concrete base and metal frame. Returnable from a large metal base. Tesserae missing around all edges, as visible in illustration. With some tesserae missing over the cream background and over the left hand side in the cream/yellow section behind the figure. A few tesserae missing over the trees in background. A few tesserae missing over his drapery, one in his black hair and one in the corner of his left eyebrow.

The use of Hermes, the winged messenger of the gods in pagan mythology, would suggest that this mosaic was originally placed in a domestic, rather than a public setting, as ruling elites continued to indulge their penchant for pagan subject matter in their homes during this period, when such was no longer permitted in religious buildings.



Byzantine Mosaic Panel of Hermes


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