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This Article appears in:

Et cetera

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On 30, Oct 2010 | One Comment | In Et cetera | By man-admin

This mosaic from Pompeii is more than “spooky.”  Its potent symbolism centers around mortality.  Here is a description from Wikipedia:

The skull speaks. It says “Et in Arcadia ego” or simply “Vanitas.” In a first-century mosaic tabletop from a Pompeiian triclinium (now in Naples), the skull is crowned with a carpenter’s square and plumb-bob, which dangles before its empty eyesockets (Death as the great leveller), while below is an image of the ephemeral and changeable nature of life: a butterfly atop a wheel—a table for a philosopher’s symposium.

One can only imagine the conversations that were inspired by this tabletop.  And since when did skulls have ears?  We find that more than a little spooky.

Then there is this lovely little guy, also from Pompeii . . .

First-century AD mosaic from Pompeii of a skeleton with two wine jugs, illustrating the Epicurean philosophy which Horace called “carpe diem” (enjoy today while you can). It seems that bronze miniature jointed skeletons were handed out as gifts at dinner-parties. (VRoma: National Archaeological Museum, Naples: Barbara McManus)

 Now THAT’s our kind of trick or treat!

We asked MAN followers to send us photos of their spooky creations and have these two to share:

Time of Our Lives by Ilona Freid
Unglazed ceramic, watch face, mirror tile, vitreous tile, seed beads
Contact: ,

This is a delightful contemporary take on the “tempus fugit” philosophy.  No matter how you mark time, it does pass way too quickly.

For a completely different Halloween take, we were charmed by the mosaic below.

 Goin’ Batty by Neida Mora-Maus
10″ x 12″ Perdomo smalti

To our eyes, those bats look positively gleeful.  And they should.  Mora-Maus made this mosaic in honor of her husband’s birthday which is, of course, October 31st.
Carpe diem! — Nancie

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  1. ilona

    Those Pompeii mosaics are spooky, for sure! Thanks for "digging them up" for our enjoyment.

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