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EUFRASIAN APSE MOSAICS

Sondage 013

[so013]
1A - 1B - 1C

We offer several examples of Bornia's typical setting, which we will then contrast with the original setting. Figs. 16 17 and 18 illustrate details of the gold jeweled band running beneath the standing angel on the central window pier. The entire border under the angel is substantially a product of restoration. Fig. 16 shows the far north side of the border; Figs. 17 and 18 serve as details of the south end of the border. The trademark pink of Bornia's setting is most apparent in Figs. 16 and 18. All three photographs demonstrate the constancy of setting technique, with the neatly cut cubes placed at uniform intervals. The evenness of the setting bed, which lies nearly flush with the surfaces of the tesserae, can be seen best in Fig. 18. The bright, flat finish typical of new gold tesserae is most visible in Fig. 17.

The application of Bornia's settings to a larger area may be seen in Fig. 19, a detail of John the Baptist, on the south window pier. Large areas of this figure, as well as the gold band underneath and along both sides of it, were heavily restored by Bornia, perhaps because the original mosaic had already been replaced by painted plaster, as Jackson's description suggests. The general "look" of Bornia's work may be seen easily in the lower gold band, as well as the feet and tunic of the saint, and in several rows of tesserae around the feet. In these sections, the tesserae are set regularly and even with the surface, whose lighter color helps to create a dotted line effect. The vertical bands of colors in the tunic accentuate the rhythmic regularity of the setting.

We may look at two further comparisons of Bornia's restoration with similar substantially unrestored areas. Here again, the distinction is clear. In Fig. 20, a segment of gold band above the Annunciation, the left half is mainly original while the right half is primarily new. The uneven surface and setting on the left abruptly becomes smooth and consistent to the right. With the possible exception of the 6 green tesserae in the center of the square jewel, all the tesserae on the right are new, precisely sized and cut. The tesserae, particularly those from the two black discs in the center to the end of the square jewel, are set in even rows, including those gold tesserae set obliquely to either side of the black tesserae. This unyielding consistency breaks down a bit near the "black" discs at the right side of the photograph, some of which are original tesserae in original beds.