They did create beautiful mosaics. It's amazing how they took different shades of tile and used the different colors to create contrast and shapes.
And they looked so life like.
When I was in Germany I toured Trier. It's an old city built in the 1st century AD right on the border between France and Germany. It's like a mini Rome. They have walls surrounding the old city, an old bath works and an old colosseum where they had rooms to the side presumably for animals or gladiators.
They also had several areas set up as museums. I walked through one of them, approached a roped off area , looked down and there was a tile floor ringed with swastikas along the perimeter. I know that swastikas were good luck symbols 2000 years ago but it was totally unexpected. I jumped back a foot and I swear my heart skipped a beat. This was in the 90's. It was the only time I ever saw a swastika in Germany.
Other than that, it was a good time. Trier was a beautiful city.
As someone who has a formal art training, I can tell you all that mosaics is the area of art to collect. The reason being that for years it's been seen as an old persons hobby, making pot stands with geckos and dolphins etc. Very much craft and not art. It's been so looked down upon by the art establishment, that Nicholas Serota - the former Director of the Tate Gallery - refused to have any mosaic art in the Tate's collection. Given the anti-establishment backlash of late, mosaic art is sure to have its day sooner or later. Get in now while it's still (relatively) cheap. Attached are a few images of a mosaicist whose work I'm rather fond of. I'm fond of the artist too - she's my wife.
I believe you. Art has trends that go up and down. Old Masters are always in fashion but one year Diego Rivera and other Mexicans will be fashionable and then 3 years later his value will fall in half and then folk art and Indian pottery goes up in value.
Mosaics are very pretty though.
I like stained glass windows too.
BTW, do you have a degree in Fine Art or something similar?
Was your education in Art History or painting , sculpture ?
Just wondering. I have very few artistic abilities.
I have a 2:2 honours degree (referred to as a 'Desmond' here in the U.K. after the famous bishop) in Fine Art, although I specialised in printmaking. I like to think I'd have done better and got a 2:1, but one of the assessors was a painter who believed that printmaking wasn't art and so, as a matter of principle, gave all students who made prints a big fat zero. That dragged down the averages somewhat! He was a colourful character (and a good painter to be fair) who, on the first day of the first term with a new intake of fresh faced students, started his class by announcing that great art is all about waste. He then proceeded to take a dozen or so unopened tubes of quality oil paint and squeeze the whole lot into a rubbish bin. Easily £20.00 worth of paint - which was a small fortune to an impoverished art student back in the late 70s. Needless to say, he got our attention.
Regarding art history - my knowledge isn't great, although it was a part of the course and all students had to produce a thesis.
Back to the thread topic, my advice to anyone wanting to buy art as an investment would be to focus on one area and specialise in that. So, it could be prints as favoured by sminicooper, but equally it could be watercolours, mosaics, photography or pottery etc. I'm afraid there are no short cuts; making money out of art will be as tough as making money out of trading. The main thing is to buy what you like and then, even if it doesn't accrue in value, you can enjoy it.
I have a question I would like to ask. Perhaps someone knows the answer.
I was trying to find on the net a machine that was around 50 years ago. I can't remember the name of the machine and therefore failed to find it on the web.
This gadget was used like a camera obscura to capture a view and project it down onto a white piece of paper. The amateur could then pencil it in easily. I think it was made with a prism on a stick about 1 foot long.