blog.php-1355 Victor Vasarely, Gestalt 4

Here, in this piece by Vasarely, different colored marble plates have been arranged in order to create a three-dimensional shape. This has been achieved through an optical illusion, which is not the first of its kind. So what are the origins of this innovative style?

Optical illusions and three-dimensional shapes can be dated as far back to Pompeii, at the Casa del Fauno. When it was excavated in the 1830s, a floor mosaic that plays on optical illusions was discovered by archeologists.

blog.php-1356 Marble rectangular table top, 84.5 x 160 cm, 18th-19th century

blog.php-1357 Mosaic from Casa del Fauno, Pompeii
Image: via

Dating back even further, mosaics from the Ancient Greek city of Corinth featured geometric patterns which are not unlike Vasarely et al Op art of the 1960s.

In the 18th century through to modern day, using marble for both it's strength as a material as well as its aesthetic qualities became a trend in Western interior design.

blog.php-1358 Pair of marble table tops with marbles, 82,5 x 51,5 cm / 90 x 59 cm, 18-19th century

blog.php-1359 Mosaic from Corinth, Greece

blog.php-1360 Marble round table top, D: 120 cm, 20th century

Just goes to show, nothing is truly an original...

All pieces featured will be part of Wannenes sale on March 7 and 8, 2017. Previews will take place from March 3-6. Ceramics, glass, Old Masters and 19th paintings will all be featured in the auction. Check out the full catalog here.