Roma. Hispania romana (Sala 19)
Emblemata constituted the central panel of a larger mosaic. They were usually made in the workshop and then set into their definitive location on their own mount, in this case a Roman bipedal brick.
This fascinating mosaic was discovered in Rome in 1670 and passed into the Spanish crown’s collection in the mid-18th century. The first intervention after its discovery was, naturally, its extraction and reassembly for sale. The strips of marble that frame the piece date from that period, and the most important losses were probably reconstructed at the same time.
Nearly all the reintegrations were made with limestone or marble tessera in keeping with the former criteria of using the same material to render restorations indistinguishable from the original.
A slate plaque, undoubtedly from the same period, was affixed to the reverse but was broken on several occasions and finally removed. Over the years the piece has suffered several other insignificant accidents, recorded in the museum's archive, where an odd broken corner has been restored. It has also undergone other minor interventions.