Opus SectileDecoration of inlay of polychrome stones Architecture / Lexicon
Opus sectile is a way of making decorations using precisely cut pieces of polychrome stone, usually marble, to make patterns and figures on flat surfaces.
Opus sectile was used in pavings, walls and smaller surfaces, such as tables.
The technique was very expensive and was only used in high status contexts, where polychrome mosaics and paintings weren't adequate.
In the Villa Romana del Casale, a very rich Roman country villa in Sicily from the 4th century CE with over 3500m2 of polychrome geometric and figurative mosaics, only one room, the main audience hall where the master of the house received his guests, had a floor in opus sectile.
Prints of the photographs are available — read more here.
The pictures above are taken in the following locations:
- Palazzo dei Conservatori, Capitoline Museums, Campidoglio, Rome, Italy (4 photographs - prints not available )
- Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, Campania, Italy (3 photographs - prints not available )
- Villa Romana del Casale - A luxurious Roman villa from around 320 CE (Piazza Armerina, Sicily, Italy)
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