By: Louk Vreeswijk

Apr 18 2021

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Category: Africa, Tunisia

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A girl, naked, walking her dog, 2000 years ago. After my first surprise – a double surprise -, I saw that she doesn’t hold the leash. She has a flower in her hand.

She is part of an enormous Roman mosaic (almost 25 m², late 2nd cent. CE), depicting in the middle the ‘Triumph of Neptune’, with the four seasons in the corners. We are looking at ‘Spring’, personified as a young woman, carrying a basket with roses. It is marvellous how the artisans knew to suggest with their subtly shaded little stones the curvature and volumes of the body. The curve of Spring’s belly is depicted with such sensitivity that one is tempted to strike one’s hand over it.

The Bardo Museum in Tunis houses the biggest collection of Roman mosaics in the world. Halls full, on walls and floors, so many that one grows tired of the very idea of looking at them all intently.

Photo of the week: ‘Spring’, Roman mosaic, detail of ‘The Triumph of Neptune’, Bardo Museum, Tunis, Tunisia 2018

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