Sunday, 14 September 2014
The mosaics at Chedworth Roman Villa are quite brilliant, fantastic designs and themes..When it was in full use , with brightly coloured walls..it would have taken your breath away.
Funny how nowadays, the Farrow and Ball paint colours and shabby chic works well and is fashionable in Cotswold homes, but when the artistic and skilled Dobunni tribe lived here.....well what did they think of the bright reds and blues of the Romans!...I wonder if they were influenced and splashed a bit of colour on the walls of their homes. I can imagine them painting the lengths of timer in stripes and perhaps mimicking the mosaics onto large slabs of stone using sponges and natural earth colours.
I haven't researched into archaeological papers ,and I'm sure that nothing would have survived...but just knowing other artists and craftsmen...I just know that they would have had a go...after all it could well of been them that created or helped to make the mosaics.It is thought that unlike the Silures, the Dobunni were not warlike and submitted to the Romans arrival...accepting the Romano-British lifestyle...so they could have enjoyed the mosaics too.
There are at least 20 other Roman Villas within a ten mile radius so if you were a local craftsman and could pick up the art of mosaics....well it would have been a good job and could have taken you far. I can imagine local craftsmen being allowed to help mark the pattern out, sort tiles and perhaps start by making the stripes and doing the grouting. Perhaps one of them might have had a flair for drawing and was allowed to produce the birds........they might even have made some Celtic 'selfies'
If a Roman of the time came and saw the stone mosaic sections available at B&Q etc....I'm sure he would have liked the idea of buying ready made strips but he would have thought they were all a bit too drab....I bet he would have liked the wallpaper though...that's pretty mad these days !