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