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Pella Archaeological site. Detail of the Stag Hunt mosaic floor, 4th century BC.
The Stag Hunt mosaic floor in Room D of the "House of the Abduction of Helen" (also known as House 1.5, see gallery page 4).
The polychrome mosaic is 3.24 x 3.17 metres. The central emblema (panel) shows two young men, naked apart from cloaks, and a hunting dog killing a stag. It has been suggested that the hunters may be Alexander the Great (right) and Hephaistion (see gallery page 17).
Along the top of the scene the artist Gnoseis (Γνῶσεις) has signed his name in white tesserae, "ΓΝΩΣΕΙΣ ΕΠΟΗΣΕΝ" (Gnoseis epoesen, Gnoseis made this), the earliest known artist's signature on a mosaic. The image has a thin frame of white tesserae, surrounded by a continuous decorative border with a floral motif, and an outer frame of black and white spiral waves.
Apart from the monochrome frames, the artist has used a limited "palette" of black, white, red, and yellow stones, plus a few green, roughly corresponding to the four-colour palette used by some Greek painters of the 4th century BC, as mentioned by ancient authors (Cicero and Pliny the Elder, see Aetion).
Detail of the central panel of the Stag Hunt mosaic showing the signature of Gnoseis.
See another rare signature by an ancient mosaic artist on Pergamon gallery 2, page 12.
|Mosaics in Pella:
pebble mosaic floor
Stag Hunt mosaic
Abduction of Helen mosaic
Dionysos riding a panther
Lion Hunt mosaic
|More photos and information
on My Favourite Planet
A mosaic of Dionysos and "Sleeping Ariadne" from Ephesus,
now in the Izmir Archaeological Museum, Turkey:
Selcuk photo gallery 2
The "Alexander Mosaic" from Pompeii, depicting
Alexander the Great in battle with King Darius III:
Alexander the Great
in our People section
A Hellenistic mosaic, signed by Hephaistion, from Pergamon,
now in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin, Germany:
Pergamon photo gallery 2
Ancient mosaics depicting the Gorgon Medusa
Mosaics from Pompeii signed by Dioskourides of Samos
Mosaics at Dion Archaeological Site, Macedonia, Greece:
Dion: garden of the Gods
at the Cheshire Cat Blog
"Choklakia" mosaics in Kastellorizo, Greece:
Kastellorizo photo gallery
Mosaics of Saint John the Theologian, on Patmos, Greece:
Patmos photo gallery
Modern mosaic commemorating Saint Paul
the Apostle's visit to Veria, Macedonia, Greece:
Veria photo gallery
See also a mosaic mural made by the author of this guide:
|Photos, maps and articles: copyright © David John,
except where otherwise specified.
Some of the information and photos in this guide to Pella
originally appeared in 2004 on davidjohnberlin.de.
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