Exhibitions/ Art Object

Fragment of a Floor Mosaic with a Personification of Ktisis

500–550, with modern restoration
Marble and glass
59 1/2 x 78 5/8 x 1 in. (151.1 x 199.7 x 2.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund and Fletcher Fund, 1998; Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, Dodge Fund, and Rogers Fund, 1999
Accession Number:
1998.69; 1999.99
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301
The bejeweled woman, holding the measuring tool for the Roman foot, is identified by the restored Greek inscription as Ktisis, a figure personifying the act of generous donation or foundation. The man with a cornucopia, originally one of a pair flanking her, has the Greek inscription “good” by his head, half of a text that probably said, “good wishes.” The fragment, made of marble and glass tesserae (small pieces of colored material), is typical of the exceptional mosaics created throughout the Byzantine world in the 500s. The Metropolitan Museum, after acquiring the two figures independently, has restored them in accordance with a dealer’s photograph showing their original arrangement while in storage before separation.
#2825. Fragment of a Floor Mosaic with a Personifixation of Ktisis
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Private Collection, Switzerland (1988) [1998.69]; [ Ward & Company Works of Art, New York (from 1997–sold 1998)] [1998.69]; Private Collection, Switzerland (from 1970s–1999) [1999.99]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1997-1998." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 56, no. 2 (Fall 1998). pp. 14-15.

Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 38, pp. 32–33.

Soultanian, Jack, and Marika Strohschnieder. "Rejoining Two Sixth Century Byzantine Mosaics." Met Objectives: Treatment and Research Notes 2, no. 1 (Fall 2000).

Eisenberg, Jerome M. "The New Byzantine Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Minerva 12, no. 3 (2001). pp. 24-25, fig. 7.

Evans, Helen C., Melanie Holcomb, and Robert Hallman. "The Arts of Byzantium." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 58, no. 4 (Spring 2001). pp. 16-17.

Kalavrezou, Ioli. Byzantine Women and their World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Art Museums, 2003. pp. 35–36, fig. 6.

Strohschnieder, Marika. Restauro, Zeitschrift für Kunsttechniken, Restaurierung und Museumsfragen (July/August 2004). pp. 312-17, fig. 1-12.

Norris, Michael. Medieval Art: A Resource for Educators. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 3, pp. 36-37.

Barnet, Peter. "Medieval Europe." In Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1977–2008, edited by James R. Houghton. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009. p. 25.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012. p. 181.

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