Betsey Robinson, associate professor of history of art, co-presented a talk entitled “A Roman mosaic in the south stoa, Corinth, Greece: New studies and conservation plans” with Nicol Anastassatou, chief conservator of the Corinth Excavations, American School of Classical Studies. Their presentation was part of a two-day colloquium held October 16-18 at the Getty Villa and organized by the North American Branch of L’Association International pour l’Étude de la Mosaïque Antique.
Toward the eastern end of the South Stoa at ancient Corinth stands a modern structure that was built to protect a late second/early third century CE mosaic. The central panel of the mosaic, discovered by Oscar Broneer in 1933 during his excavations, depicts a victorious athlete approaching a seated, semidraped goddess, perhaps Corinth herself, with attributes of the local Aphrodite (of Acrocorinth) and the nymph Peirene. Her shield reads “Eutychia” (Good Luck).
Robinson’s article, “Good Luck” from Corinth: A Mosaic of Allegory, Athletics, and City Identity (AJA, Vol. 116, January 2012, pp. 105-132), discussed not only the meaning and art historical value but also the need for conservation work after eight decades of exposure. Thanks to a generous grant from the Stockman Family Foundation, the mosaic is getting the necessary attention.
After the approval of a conservation study created by chief conservator Nicol Anastassatou, Robinson and two highly experienced mosaic conservators, Spiros Armenis and Charis Delis, are hard at work. The plan calls for the mosaic to be detached, the deteriorated preparatory layers removed, and the mosaic reset upon a new stable substratum. The team is currently in the process of cleaning the surface, consolidating fragmentary stone and glass tesserae, and preparing the mosaic for the detachment. The project is slated to take place over the next two years.
*Central figural panel from the Roman mosaic in the South Stoa, Corinth, Greece