The French mosaicist Auguste Guilbert-Martin is perhaps best known for his impressive public architectural commissions, many of which can still be seen in France. As in the present lot, his bold use of colour against a gold ground is apparent in Louis Pasteur's Byzantine-style tomb, ornately embellished with tesserae depicting Pasteur's discoveries. Representative of the Symbolist movement, the building and decorations were designed by Charles-Louis Girault, architect of the Petit Palais, with the interior designed by Luc-Olivier Merson.
Reputedly the largest mosaic in the world, conceived by Luc-Olivier Merson and carried out by the Guilbert-Martin workshops between 1900-1922, adorns the interior of the Romano-Byzantine basilica at
Sacré-Coeur. Guilbert-Martin also produced the mosaics in the reception hall of the Musée National de la Porcelaine, Adrien Dubouché, Limoges.
Completed in 1893, under the pontificate of Leon XIII, is an impressive mosaic known as La mosaïque de Lameire, depicting Christ and the Apostles. Adorning the church of La Madeleine, it was conceived and designed by Charles-Joseph Lameire and was manufactured by Sèvres under the direction of Guilbert-Martin
Most commonly entitled Venezia riceve l'omaggio di Nettuno or Nettuno che offre doni a Venezia, Tiepolo's canvas, from which the present mosaic is copied, was painted circa 1740-50 and hangs in the 'Sala delle quattro porte' in the Palazzo Ducale, Venice.