The Roman mosaic of Vichten
Archaeological research undertaken in 1995 on the site of a new agricultural operation in Vichten showed that the terrain in question covered the foundations of one of the most remarkable Roman villas ever discovered in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The excellent state of preservation of the buried remnants is explained by the topographical location of the building built on a slight natural terrace of a hill, facing due south, which rises more than 50 m above the site. From late antiquity, the ruins of the villa were progressively covered by material eroded from the nearby plateau causing the remainder of the villa to be hidden under large mounds of earth (between 0.5 and 3.5 metres).
Dating from around 240 A.D., the mosaic of Vichten, which has an area of 61.3 m2 and is in an excellent state of preservation, shows in its main area the mythological and literary subject of the nine Muses, daughters of the supreme God, Zeus, and of the goddess of memory, Mnémosyne. The Muses are reproduced following the order defi ned around 700 B.C. by the Greek author Hésiode : Clio, Muse of history ; Euterpe, Muse of music and lyric poetry ; Thalie, Muse of comedy ; Melpomène, Muse of tragedy ; Terpsichore, Muse of dance and dramatic choirs; Erato, Muse of love poetry ; Polymnie, Muse choir singing and harmony ; Uranie, Muse of astronomy and lastly, in the large central medallion, Calliope, Muse of epic elegiac poetry, in the company of the prince of poets, Homer. The eight « exterior » Muses are oriented on an axis towards the middle of the central medallion. The depiction of the clothing and other attributes of the different personalities, identified by latin inscriptions included above each medallion, is very detailed.
The overall composition and the purely decorative elements (intertwining, crosses, scroll patterns, etc.), indicates the uncovered mosaic was created in the tradition of the workshops of the town of Trèves, about 50 kilometres away. It is the work of a specialised workshop which, in the course of the 3rd century, created several other similar masterpieces, in particular in Trèves (Mosaic of Monnus) and at Bad Kreuznach (Mosaic of the
After its dismantling in Vichten in July 1995, the mosaic was transferred to the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Trèves for the first step in restoration. After its return to Luxembourg in March 1997, the fi nal restoration, notably including the fi lling in of various gaps, took place until 1999 in special workshops of the National Museum of History and Art in Luxembourg where it is exhibited today.
|Price of the sheet:||4 octagonal stamps 0,50 € + 1 square stamp at 1,00 € = 3,00 €|
|Printing:||High-resolution offset by Cartor Security Print, La Loupe (F)|
|Dimensions:||110 x 110 mm|