The ancient art of mosaic tiles has been used for centuries as a way to decorate

everything from Roman cathedrals to Persian mosques.Once carried out using only stone

or coloured glass tiles, artists now embrace everything from stamps to burnt toast

Here are 10 of the best works of art from around the world.

1. The Madaba Map-
Madaba, Jordan

2. Villa Romana del Casale-
Sicily, Italy

Created in the 6th century

Discovered in 1894

16 metres long and 6 metres wide

Useful Fact: The Madaba Map is the oldest

cartographic depiction of the Holy Land in

mosaic form.

Created in the 4th century

Discovered during 3 excavations between

1929 and 1960

Measures over 4,200 square yards

Useful Fact: Decorating the floor of the Villa

Romana del Casale, this mosaic depicts

scenes from Roman life and it was recently

added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

3. Entrance Upon – New
York City, USA

4. Ravenna, Italy

Created by artist Squire Vickers in the

early 1900s

Located at Times Square Station

Useful Fact: This mosaic is one of 226

listed artworks by Squire Vickers across

the New York subway system.

Created in the 5th and 6th centuries

Depicting the life of Jesus Christ and

other biblical scenes

Useful Fact: This mosaic is one of many

famous mosaics found in three separate

Ravenna churches:

Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo

Sant’Apollinare in Classe

Basilica of San Vitale

5. Glass Mosaic Mural
San Diego, California, USA

6. Jāmeh Mosque of Yazd –
Yazd, Iran

Created by Italo Botti in 2003

Measures 43 feet wide and 72 feet tall

One of the largest murals of its

kind in the world

Useful Fact: This mosaic was one of the

last of Botti’s works. He passed away four

months after its completion.

Created in the 13th century

Measures over 48 metres tall

Useful Fact:The entrance — flanked by

48-meter tall minarets — is completely

covered in mosaic tile work. The dome,

interior chamber, and minarets are also

decorated in mosaic tiles

7. The Great Pavement –
Westminster Abbey,
London, England

8. Fish Pond –
Croydon, London

Created in the 13th century

Commissioned by the Abbot

of Westminster

Measures 24 square feet

Useful Fact: The Abbot of Westminster

imported a ship full of marble glass and

Italian designers to create the mosaic

after seeing the floor in the Pope’s

summer home.

Created by Gary Drostle

Inspired by trompe l’oeil design

Made using vitreous ceramic tesserae

Useful Fact: The Fish Pond is a central

feature of an award-winning public

garden in Croydon.

9. 16th Avenue Tiled Steps
– San Diego,

10. Burnt Toast Mona Lisa
– Hong Kong

Created in 2005 by Aileen Barr and

mosaic artist Colette Crutcher

Covering 163 steps

Useful Fact: The steps took the artists

and more than 300 community members

two-and-half years to complete, using

2,000 handmade tiles and 75,000

fragments of mirror.

Created by Maurice Bennett

‘The Toastman’

Required 6,000 pieces of toast

Useful Fact: Maurice Bennett burnt

toast using a blowtorch to create

patterns and colour tones.

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