Over 100 different types of marble were used at Westminster Cathedral in the walls, floors and columns. The floor shown here is “cosmatesque”, in other words, in the style of the Cosmati flooring first developed in Italy nearly a thousand years ago. Examples of marble work are shown below. Some of the marble originally ordered for the cathedral could not be made use of, and instead found its way to Surrey . The Cosmati were a Roman family, seven members of which, for four generations, were skilful architects, sculptors and workers in mosaic. Their name is commemorated in the genre of Cosmatesque technique a form of opus sectile (“cut work”) formed of elaborate inlays of small triangles and rectangles of colored stones and glass mosaics set into stone matrices or encrusted upon stone surfaces. Bands, panels and shaped reserves of intricate mosaic alternate with contrasting bands, guilloches and simple geometric shapes of plain white marble. Pavements and revetments were executed in Cosmatesque technique, columns were inlaid with fillets and bands, and immovable church furnishings like cathedras and ambones were similarly treated.
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