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Cosmati: Farfalle Butterflies

Val Archer (born 1946)


Signed with initials

Oil on paper

24 ¾ x 40 ¼ inches

Val Archer. 'Touching the Surface of Time', May 2011, No 44

The presence of butterflies in this picture is a happy accident. During the glorious summer of 2010, Val's Tuscan studio was invaded by clouds of butterflies blown in by gusts of wind. Inspired by the work of the Roman Cosmati family, seven members of which, for four generations –1190 to 1235 – were skilful architects, sculptors and workers in decorative geometric mosaic, mostly for church floors. initial inspiration for the techinique was Byzantine, as typified by the mosaics in Ravenna.

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