Origins of the classic movement

In March 2016 my family and I visited Ravenna, Italy to see the 6th century mosaics in the cities Cathedral and Basilicas. It had been my long wish to visit the city for many years and see the origins of the ‘classic’ movement. I was not disappointed. The images below show classic designs and skilful construction that have been my inspiration. Its clear that architects such as Robert Adam visited these works while on the ‘Grand tour’ and were inspired to bring a multitude of drawing back to reignite the classic designs they witnessed. Following their 18th century tour the movement received a rebirth and was called Neo (new) Classical.

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Half round two-toned mosaic fan so beautifully designed and skilfully constructed. Note also the decorative border consisting of Guilloche motifs linked into squares. Hard to accept this as 6th century work, but it most certainly is.

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Here you see my marquetry Chippendale fan, which I built for the top panel of the replica Diana & Minerva commode. Note the similar design features in the mosaic version above.

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A damaged panel framed with Greek key design. I saw many examples of this motif surrounding other intact wall panels.

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Note here, top centre, a guilloche strip. A stylised intertwined guilloche to the left, and a collection of Greek keys forming a uniform design on the right. A vase, yet another 18th century Neo-classical favourite has its origins in the 6th century, bottom centre.

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This amazing and inspirational shot taken in the Presbytery in the The Basilica of St. Vitale. Here above the two pillars, we see a half-round two-tone fan set with gold and blue flutes. The colours in the mosaics are as vibrant today as they were when first laid due to mineral compounds, which unlike vegetable and animal dyes, are not effected by UV.