Monday, May 31, 2010

Biggest History Mosaic Ever!

An aesthetic dilemma: When discussing works of art, should "biggest ever" enter the conversation?

You decide. This mosaic, "The Birth of Liberty" sits at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, where Memorial Day services honoring our veterans are taking place.

Most of the scenes of America's history are mosaic reproductions of well-known paintings by artists such as John Trumbull (including The Declaration of Independence at right), E.G. Leutze, Percy Moran, and others (like the ubiquitous Unknown).

The mosaic is 162 feet long and 28 feet high. This is my first attempt to stitch photos into a panoramic shot, so you get some idea of just how big the mosaic is. Wikipedia says it contains ten million pieces of Venetian glass, and you know you can take that to the bank!

Of course, it's so big that you can't tell it's a mosaic. I blew up a tiny part of the Declaration of Independence to show the glasswork.

Near as I can tell, those are Richard Henry Lee's gams.

To your right as you stand facing "The Birth of Liberty" is another mosaic showing idealized scenes from Abraham Lincoln's life. Here's half of it, below. Love the greenery around it-seems very appropriate. The other half of the Lincoln mosaic is more a tribute to 19th century romanticism than to Lincoln, which is too bad. With all his accomplishments and the drama that surrounded Lincoln, I've often wondered why some artists felt the need to fictionalize the imagery.

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