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The Gypsy Girl Mosaic

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The Gypsy Girl Mosaic
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Photo Comments

This mosaic was discovered in a building at Zeugma called "The House of Menad" that dated to the 2nd-3rd centuries A.D.  During the excavations she was likened "to a Gypsy Girl as joke . . . with her uncombed hair, salient cheekbones, round face, and earings," and the name has stuck. "There is no illuminating data regarding her identity but some scholars claim that she is one of the menads present in Dionysus festivals because of the tendrils near her head; and others suggest that this is a portrait of Alexander the Great.  The most interesting feature of the mosaic is that it follows the beholder in every direction."

"A special technique was used in the mosaic in order to make her eyes more realistic.  On the other hand, the fact that both joy and sorrow are reflected in her face indicated the stage reached in the art of portrait.  The piece was made via the technique called 'three fourth look' in the art of painting during the Hellenistic period.  The technique was used by great painters as well.  Da Vinci's Mona Lisa is an example of such paintings.  With those characteristics, the piece has become the symbol of Zeugma and Gaziantep."

The above commentary is from a sign in the museum.  The artifact is displayed in a special room in the museum.