A pattern, design or image created with small arranged pieces of tesserae and set in a grout to hold them in place. Tesserae, from the Greek word meaning tokens or small bits, include colored glass, marble, pottery, stone or wood. Mosaic is one of the oldest of the decorative arts and was popular with the ancient Romans and Greeks. Earliest examples date back to the fifth century BC and were composed of pebbles and shells. By 100 B.C. mosaics of the Romans were highly sophisticated. The tesserae that is common today are linked to Byzantium where mosaics were the dominant artistic expression. Churches of Constantinople, Venice and Ravenna have excellent examples of Byzantine mosaics. Although the art is not much in vogue, some American artists do work with Mosaic designs: Millard Sheets, Louis Tiffany, Jeanne Reynal, Helen Bruton, Jean Varda, Max Spivak, Ezra Winter and Emmy Lou Packard. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; AskART database<br><br>Picture making technique using small units of variously colored materials (glass, tile, stone) set in a mortar.

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