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alexander the great charging at darius iii | by Xuan Che
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alexander the great charging at darius iii

The "Alexander Mosaic" in the House of the Faun in Pompeii is the most famous portrait of both Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia. It is made of about one and a half million tiles and depicts either the Battle of Issus of 333 BC or the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC, the epic clashes between Persian and Macedonian Empires.


The portrait of Alexander is mesmorizing and nothing lesser of an homeric hero. His breastplate depicts Medusa, the famous Gorgon, and his wavy hair is typical of royal portraiture as established in Greek art of the 4th century BC. He is portrayed sweeping into the battlefield at the front of his troops, on his famous horse Bucephalos, gazing into his foe of the Persian king.


Today, the original Alexander Mosaic is on display in the National Museum of Archaeology in Naples. An exact copy – identical in shape, size, colour and materials used – was created after several years of work by the Scuola Bottega del Mosaico di Ravenna and is now installed in Pompeii.


Wikipedia page of the mosaic.

House of the Faun, Pompeii.

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Taken on December 23, 2010