opus vermiculatum

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vermiculated mosaic

An ancient Roman mosaic of the most delicate and elaborate character; the Roman opus vermiculatum; the tesserae are arranged in curved, waving lines, as required by the shading of the design.
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Michael Hedqvist of Phoenix Ancient Art confirms this view: 'Mosaic making reached a pinnacle in 1st-century Rome, with a technique known as opus vermiculatum or micromosaic.
25 cm, in many parts of the figures smaller than 1 mm square) in opus vermiculatum (worm-like), a technique in which one or more rows of tesserae curve around the figures, emphasizing them and foreground elements in a halo effect.