Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Wedding 2011: Cosmati Floors

The High Altar at Westminster Abbey is a sight to see and starts from the ground up.  The intricate design on the 24ft, 10" square space in front of the High Altar is unlike any other floor in the world.  In 1268 workers were brought in from Rome and using an inlaid stone method called Cosmati work.  Differing from traditional paving with stones of equal size and shape, this new method created an abstract design using a variety of colored stone and glass cut into a variety of shapes - rectangles, triangles, squares, etc.

Although constructed by Italian workmen, this floor contrasts with typical Italian paving.  The floor lies in a bed of dark limestone known as Purbeck marble. The typical Italian floors of this time used a white marble as a base.  Additionally, they were not accustom to using glass in their paving. 

This floor is as much as masterpiece as any framed piece on a wall.  It is a marvelous example of design, innovation and creativity that has stood the test of time. 

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