What do the mosaics of Ravenna have to do with our Quadretti towels?
Consider yourself a lover of all things Italian? Or maybe an aesthete? Either way, chances are you’re familiar with the beautiful mosaics of Ravenna. If you don’t fit into either of these categories or have never heard of Ravenna, don’t worry - we’re going to give you the run down so you can: a) pick up some nifty trivia; b) impress that friend who has the Art History major; and c) fully appreciate the design of our gorgeous new Quadretti towels. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the history books, sending ourselves across the globe some 14,000 kilometres and back in time some 1600 years.
Ravenna is a small town in northern Italy that boasts a rich history. It was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 AD until the empire’s collapse in 476 AD, when it became the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom. Because invasions were rather frequent back in those times, Ravenna changed hands to become the capital of the Byzantine Empire in 540 AD and the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards in 751 AD. It went on to become part of both the Venetian Empire and Papal States over the following centuries, finally settling into its modern day role as the capital city of the Provence of Ravenna when Italy’s unification was completed in 1871.
With so many changes of power, a devastating flood in 1636 and a British occupation in World War II, it’s amazing that so much of the ancient city still stands. But it does, boasting no less than eight Unesco World Heritage Sites. If you want a point of comparison, that’s half the number of World Heritage Sites we have here in Australia, contained in less than one ten thousandth of the area. So yes, it’s impressive.
The eight World Heritage Sites in Ravenna are a range of religious buildings - including basilicas, chapels and mausoleums – built in the fifth and sixth centuries. To name a few, there’s the Baptistery of Neon, an octagonal building constructed under early Roman empire; the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the richly decorated resting place of the daughter of Roman Emperor Theodosius I; and the Basilica of San Vitale, which stands as an important example of early Christian Byzantine art and architecture. While the buildings represent a number of different empires and eras, seven of them have one thing in common: breathtaking mosaics.
The mosaics of Ravenna are widely considered to be some of the best in the world, thanks to their scale, detail and variety. They cover vast domes, intricate apses and towering pillars with depictions of flowers, birds and religious figures. While the mosaics are incredible from a distance, they’re even more impressive up close as you get a sense of the huge number of tiny tiles used in each and the amount of time, patience and skill that must have gone into every creation.
While our Quadretti towels haven't taken quite as long to create, they are inspired by the beautiful mosaics and a lot of thought has gone into making them one of our best towels to date.
They boast a one-sided patterned design of little squares and come in a variety of classic hues, reminiscent of Ravenna’s most famous features. There’s Artemis Grey, a warm and subtle shade of granite that will complement any bathroom; Eclipse Blue, a deep and evocative hue that will provide a powerful highlight for any space; Aruba Aqua, a light and fresh splash of colour perfect for your towel rack; and Carrara White, which is classic, simple and sophisticated.
As well as giving them a wonderful textural feel, the towels’ mosaic-inspired squares add a plush layer of softness so you’ll always look forward to putting them against your skin. The Quadretti towels are also highly absorbent, thanks to the cotton terry loops that fill the reverse side, and the zero twist fabrication means the towels are extra strong and wash well so you can experience all their great qualities at their best for years to come.
So why did we find inspiration in the mosaics of Ravenna? Aside from their timeless beauty, flawless craftsmanship and precision, we love the fact they have well and truly stood the test of time. While we can’t claim to have created anything in 500 AD, we do create homewares with the intent that they last, which is why all our products come with a five year guarantee. Our founder also has Italian roots, making the mosaics a perfect all-round muse.
If you find yourself excited by all the new knowledge you’ve picked up whilst reading this post, why not create the perfect excuse to share it, stocking your bathroom with our gorgeous Quadretti towels or purchasing them as a gift for someone you love.
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