Xavier Casalta: The Artist Who Draws History with Millions of Dots

“Marcus Aurelius” (2021-22), stippled black ink, 140 x 100 centimeters.

Xavier Casalta, a master in detailed artistry, devoted an impressive 2,300 hours across 15 months to bring to life his grandest artwork yet. This masterpiece features a cluster of flowers intricately surrounding a marble depiction of Marcus Aurelius, the celebrated emperor and philosopher from the era of ancient Rome. The piece, a testament to the artist's patience and skill, is composed of approximately 48 million precisely placed dots of black ink.

“Summer,” part of ‘Four Seasons’ in collaboration with Swallows & Damsons, stippled black ink, 56 x 56 centimeters

Casalta is acclaimed for his exceptional portrayals of botanical elements, architectural designs, and historical antiquities. He meticulously applies China ink dot by dot, creating a spectrum of shades that bring depth and contrast to his artwork. The denser dots form the darker shades, while the lighter inked areas provide subtle highlights, showcasing the detail in his work.

Detail of “Marcus Aurelius” in progress

His range of subjects is diverse, encompassing singular historical items such as the iconic Penny Black stamp or depictions of figures and animals on ancient coins. He also explores broader themes, like detailed Roman mosaics or his collaborative series 'Four Seasons' with the floristry of Swallows & Damsons.

Detail of a mosaic in progress

Currently, Casalta is engrossed in a new venture: a large-scale piece focused on architecture. Having already spent 1,200 hours, he aims to reveal this work in October. By 2024, it will also be released as a limited-edition print. Followers can keep abreast of this project through his Instagram and obtain further details from his website.

Left: Naxos Tetradrachm with Dionysus. Right: Penny Black stamp
Tetradrachm featuring a lion’s head from Cyzicus, Mysia
“Winter,” part of ‘Four Seasons’ in collaboration with Swallows & Damsons, stippled black ink, 56 x 56 centimeters
Detail of “Winter”
Detail of a work in progress