Micro-mosaics are intricate portraitures in miniature which the artist is capable of creating using unusually small mosaic pieces (tesserae) of glass, or in later Italian pieces an enamel-like material, to make small figurative images or scenes.
Surviving ancient Roman mosaics include some very finely worked panels using very small tesserae, especially from Pompeii, but only from Byzantine art are there mosaic icons in micro-mosaic with tesserae as small as the best from the Modern period.
The plaque featured here is approximately 7″ X 5″ and is a scene of Saint Peter’s Basilica created sometime during the reign of Blessed Pius IX (1846 – 1878). Black stone borders the scene, which depicts not only the Basilica itself, but also the piazza in front of it, known as Saint Peter’s Square.
It is a great piece of art and a marvelous addition to the Collection.