Roman mosaics at the Museum of Langres

A travel and design guide to mosaics.

For the past 5 years, I have been visiting Roman mosaics in France and other countries. I reproduced many of their designs and shared some of them with you. Little by little, I came to think I might one day write a sort of travel and design guide to Roman mosaics.

The idea of writing a book is a little overwhelming. But like the Chinese saying goes : a trip of a thousand miles begins with one step. I am not going to worry about the whole book, I’ll just write a chapter, then another one, and another one… And learn in the process, hopefully with your help.

Last June, while traveling to Provence, I visited the Museum of Art and History of Langres in French Champagne. I saw some beautiful mosaics there. They are the topic of the first chapter of a book which might be one day known as LIBER MAGNUS EXEMPLORUM MUSIVI. (Or something like that). Hopefully, there will be more.

Mosaicblues' great book of Roman mosaics models

I published this first chapter here :

Roman mosaics at the Museum of Langres

Please download it, read it, use it.

And tell me your thoughts.

Very knowledgeable people have been describing mosaics for years, much better than I could do. I have no intention to better them. I just want to share my passion for them, where they are, how to go there, how they were designed and a little about what they are telling us.

A Travel guide.

James Bromwich wrote a series of excellent books in English about the Roman remains in France. I am ashamed to say that no such books exist in French. They are not academic books. They are travel guides which make you want to and help you go there ! Actually, I used his books a source to locate some of the mosaics I visit. I’d like to do with mosaics what he does for Roman remains.

Map of France showing Langres and Paris
How to get to Langres

A Roman mosaics design guide.

I have been drawing most of the mosaics I visit. Not of the actual mosaics, but of the models used by the actual mosaicist 1800 years ago. I believe the ancient mosaicists used some sort of books or catalogs of patterns and designs for 2 purposes :

  • Show them to potential patrons, for them to decide what they wanted to decorate their homes or public buildings.
  • As actual on-site models to lay the actual mosaics.

Painters were probably also using those kind of documents. At times, they shared them with mosaicists.

I am recreating those documents to use them in my own mosaics, you too could use them as models. I’ll share them with you.

Langres mosaics_Dionysos_Octagon_04
Dionysos mosaic, Octagon 4
Drawing of Octagon 4 of the Langres mosaics of Dionysos
Drawing of Octagon 4

I have included over 40 drawings of mosaics in my paper. feel free to use them for your own mosaics or graphic projects. Again, if you could give me your thoughts about it that would help me improve the next ones, thank you ahead !

Panther in Dionysos mosaic in Langres

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Bacchus, Champagne, design, dionysos, dionysus, France, Gallo-roman, gaul, geometric, guide, Haute Marne, langres, mosaics, mosaique, romaine, roman
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