Not everyone notices the mosaics of the Olympic Stadium: the immense work they are treading on while walking towards the Olympic Stadium in Rome. Surrounded by the red-and-yellow or blue-and-white colors of the Roman football teams, depending on the Sunday match.
The polychrome marble pavement of the avenue leading from the obelisk to the stadium was created in 1933 and commissioned to the Mosaic School. Along with the decorations for various buildings and open spaces in the Forum.
Under the supervision of the school’s director, Antonio Baldini, and the collaborative design efforts of architect Luigi Moretti, designer Del Bebbio. The artists are Angelo Canevari, Giulio Rosso, Gino Severini, and Achille Capizzano.
This area covers over 3,000 sq. meters of mosaic on the Obelisk Avenue and 900 sq. meters of the Sphere Fountain Square (“la palla” for the Romans), executed in Spilimbergo. The School’s involvement extended to a total decorative area of 10,000 sq. meters. An area encompassing both external and internal spaces of the Olympic Pool building.
Mosaics of the Olympic Stadium are an anthology of sacred decorative symbols, blending the history of Rome with fascist life. A synthesis of regime politics and aesthetics, epitomizing heroism and classical rhetoric.
The tiny black and white tiles, mirroring ancient Rome’s style, numbered 7,500 per square meter. Crafting slogans like “Duce, our youth is dedicated to you” and the famous “many enemies, much honor,” the mosaic depicts militaristic images, African animals, and exudes the spirit of conquest.
Representations of sports are harmonious, showcasing athletes with a “Sironian” plasticity. Around the Sphere Fountain, mosaic scenes feature resting javelin throwers, boxers, divers, swimmers, obstacle course runners, weightlifters, hockey players, and monumental horseback riders.
Unfortunately, the passage of cheering fans, coupled with rain, wind, and the relentless march of time, erode even the most athletic figures.