Madaba Mosaic Map

Photo of painting

schematic of painting

F:1 - F:2 - F:3 - L:1 - N:1 - N:2 - N:3 - N:4 - N:5 - N:6 - N:7 - N:8

This 36 by 55-inch original watercolor painting of the sixth-century A.D. Madaba Mosaic Map located in the city of Madaba, Jordan, may have been painted about the time of its discovery in 1896. I acquired it at auction June 1982. I do not know its provenance, who painted it, or how it arrived in San Francisco. Avi-Yonah's definitive 1954 book "The Madaba Mosaic Map." is based on a very detailed 1906 drawing that, in comparison, differs from my drawing in many details. I am not able to make the proper analysis between the two. I would appreciate any further information about this drawing or help in completing the English translations of the Greek text.

Note that my drawing contains several text and pictorial panels as illustrated in the linked pages above. N:2 through N:7, the lower fragment of N:8 and F:1 through F:3 may be lost mosaic fragments associated with the original mosaic. I base this possibility on the fact that Avi-Yonah's book describes and analyzes in great detail every inch of the known mosaic, as portrayed in his 1906 drawing, and includes other fragments--but it does not cite or portray any of these fragments. Also, they were drawn in the same mosaic style, color and sixth-century Greek as the drawing of the map itself. Apparently, the painter wrote the four lines of text positioned below the map.

UPDATE: On August 12, 2005, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, accepted this drawing for its permanent collection (Collection ID Number: B05.0818). It was immediately added as a featured map of "The Holy Land in Maps" traveling exhibit, currently in Budapest, Hungary.


The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Alliata's Madaba Map Centenary 1897-1997 [updated]

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