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Chap. III.

Sect. IIIa.
use of marble.
20C2rt(7. The Greek term
marble," to flash, gleam, sparkle, is well applied to the
white marb.'es of the Greeks, which ditFered materially from those of Carrara, in Italy.
The Greek and Eoman marbles are noticed in the Glossary. The Byzantine interiors
exhibit fine examples of durable applied marble decoration, about one inch thick, show-
ing no desire to appear anything dilferent. The walls were covered with oblong panels
ill viers of rich marbles opened out, framed with narrow white mouldings and bands of
different colour, continuous horizontal lines of colour on white being introduced between
these panels ; the whole surmounted by a marble mosaic frieze, with a cornice displaying
small, sharp, triangular shadows, as at Constantinople and St. Mark's at Venice. At
Palermo the panels were framed with bands of mos;MC work.
2002/^6. The marble pavemods of Greek temples were probably the earliest, and were
usually of thick, large slabs. They perfected the tesselated mosaic pavements. The
Eomans gained the knowledge from them, became proficient, and used them throughout
their extensive empire. Although under half an inch square, the mosaic is one inch
thick, made to last. Some of the grandest pavements are the simplest, as those of the
Basilica Julia at Eome, of Santa Sophia, and the one under the central dome of St.
Mark's. That of the Basilica Julia has been lately discovered, and is very pt-rfect in
part. The plan is a rectangle of about two squares, the centre space being divided into
three squares and four broad bands. The squares consist of large slabs of Giallo antico,
with a broad border of Pavonaczetto, the bands being rectangular slabs of rich Afrmmo
and Porta Santa. The central slab is surrounded for about fifty feet with large slabs of
Greek white marble.
2(J02ce. The OjJusAlexa?idrinunnpa,xemeurs, as at St. Mark's and at West minster Abbey,
were usually composed of few coloursred and green porphyries with white Palamhino
for the mosaics, the bands being Greek white marble, and made out of old materials : a
great variety of geometrical patterns. Some of the most beautiful examples are at Palermo.
The Palambino was a limestone of pot-like texture. The great pavement in Siena
Cathedral, one of the finest Italian Eenaissance works, consists of pictorial subjects in
dark green marble and mastic inserted into thick slabs of white marble. These have not
worn well, and are kept covered. The filled-in lace-like p;itterns used as borders round
the monuments at Sta Croce, at Florence, are in a better condition, the fillings being in
smaller quintities. These fillings might be of lead set in a white ground, and woidd look
well. Black and white marble pavements in squares were introduced about the time of
Torregiano, and were largely used, as at King's College Chapel, Cambridge
the Beau-
champ Chapel at Warwick ;
and in mansions generally. The white squares came from
Italy, and the black from Belgium
and are still used in that country.
'IWldd. The retiring grey marbles, as Petworth, Purbeck, or Frosterley, were used by
the medieval builders in England, and the colour was most useful in contrast with the
stone. The altars and tombs of the Italian Eenaissance were executed in white marble,
with only one colour introduced for the columns, pilasters, frieze, pediment, and panels
of the bnse. A variety of marble work of late date, seen at Palermo and Naples, consists
of inlaid floral arabesque, of orange, red, and brown marbles, with black inserted into
white. It is gaudy, being deficient in repose. Similar work is seen in the monuments at
Agra, in India.
2002ee. English Alabaster, if selected free from earthy veins and used Avhere wet would
not run over it, though only for interior work, may be better than many stones, and it
would keep its colour. Of all buildirig materials it is about the least porous or absorbent.
It has been used for monumental work from a very early period, and much delicate work
has been executed in it. The inner arch moulding of the west doorway of Tutbury Church,
carved into birds' beaks, of the Norman period, is in ordinary alabaster, and remains in
good preservation. This material came into general use about the fourteenth century in
Derbyshire, and extensively so during the lilizabethan period. Great Britain and Irelai d
(see Marblk, 1681 et scq.) contain many varieties of well-known coloured marbles, little
used, even at the present day.
2002/! Memorial slabs of incised marble preceded brasses, and were far supcrinr to
them. The English Eenaissance produced marble work in chimneypieces equal, if not
superior to anything on the Continent. The designs and the marbles were equnlly gooil.
'IWliiq. The 0//.r marbles of Algeria, Mexico, and California, of the same nature as
Oriental alabaster, can be cut and ground thin enough for window purposes. At Tarragona
Cathedral and at Orvieto are examples of orange-yellow Oriental alabaster. In the east
windows of San Miniato are slabs of antique Pavonazzetto, with red-purple markings,
nearly two inches thick (par. Glo).