The Human Form in Mosaic

The Human Form in Mosaic

Elaine M. Goodwin adds to the proud series of her mosaic books with one on how to mosaic the human body. She tells us she wrote it because people kept asking her how could such hard stone and marble make soft-looking human figures? How could a few pebbles give such life and movement to the nude? How could one put such humour and character into unclothed figures?

Elaine’s response is a book in which she gives us ten do-it-yourself figurative projects. The first group includes mosaics based on the Lion Hunter in the famous Pella pebble mosaic, the Three Graces from the Roman Empire, two Venuses from Early England, and Adam from the mediaeval Monreale Cathedral in Sicily. Then come project portraits of herself and her sons Rama and Darius and her niece Bethany; interestingly all these are inspired by a Titian and various classic mosaics (I trust the reader regards “The Life of St. Aidan” by Sir Frank Brangwyn as a worthy contender for that adjective).

With each project Elaine’s insights and suggestions and instructions are of course invaluable.

Then comes a section devoted to other artists’ interpretation of the human form – Robert Field, Toyoharu Kii, Marco de Luca, Dugald MacInnes, Verdiano Marzi, Lucio Orsoni, Vanessa Somers Vreeland and Petar Vujosevic. A truly international octet. It’s fascinating to see how differently they approach the challenge – for challenge it is. I may be wrong but I have the strong impression that comparatively few mosaicists are prepared to do a Michelangelo and to regard portraying the human figure as the greatest and most rewarding work an artist can undertake.

Let’s hope this excellent book will encourage many more artists to mosaic the human form.

Paul Bentley

Price: Price:£19.95

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