In this article I want to look at just one geometric motif from The Hunting Dogs mosaic currently in Corinium Museum, Cirencester, UK. Discovered in 1849 this is a good example of a Romano British mosaic combining both figures and geometric patterns.
The motif I want to look at is at the bottom right of the mosaic shown on the left. The reason for this is to try to determine how this motif was set and why it is the shape it is in comparison to a geometrically correct one.
When we look at geometric patterns in a Roman mosaic they seem correctly proportioned and following the correct lines, when viewed from afar, it is only when we get up close that we see just how rough some of these patterns are. These days we expect everything to be neatly done but it does seem that in Roman ties they did not seem to mind too much is a pattern was out. Was it just floor mosaics that they had this attitude to, or did it just depend on the individual commissioning the mosaic.
Left, The Hunting Dogs mosaic - copyright Corinium Museum