Hunkin, T. 2011. Byzantium in the Home Counties. Andamento Volume 5, 2011. British Association for Modern Mosaic ISSN 1752-5578
Tessa Hunkin is a leading British Mosaic artist. This work examines why Mosaic came back into fashion in Britain in the 19th Century. She states that, with the exception of the Cosmatesque pavement in Westminster Abbey (13th Century) no mosaics were made in Britain after the Romans departed. She cites the 19th Century cultural nostalgia of the past and the belief in the potential for technological progress as reasons for the renewed interest and states that the latter was bewildering, so the former was used to ‘clothe the new world in comforting familiarity’. She cites the influence of John Ruskin with his writing about St Mark’s Basilica in Venice as a huge influence. She discusses the interpretation of the Byzantine Mosaics by the Victorian artists whose painting was still strongly influenced by the Renaissance Old Masters calling it ‘an uneasy but interesting combination of the Byzantine and the contemporary’.