Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Villa Romana del Casale, 2

Rarely does one walk away from something so impressed. We have seen mosaics of the Roman world from England to Morocco, Spain to Turkey, many of them superb, whether in museums or churches or in situ. But this one is head and shoulders above all the others. Do check out other images, by professionals, on the web. If you like mosaics, ancient or Medieval, don't miss Sicily!
Among the basilicas
The most impressive piece at the Villa Romana is the 200 foot long ambulatory
known as The Great Hunt, where a variety of African animals are hunted and
captured for transport to Rome and the amusements there

Including elephants

The interpretive signage is extensive, informative, and in English too

More of the Great Hunt

The Great Hunt, plus a couple depictions of the Circus Maximus have led some
scholars to suggest that the owner of the villa was one Lucius Aradius Valerius
Proculus, governor of Sicily and later a Roman consul; as praetor, earlier in
his career, he had organized some of the most spectacular games and other
amusements the City had ever seen; perhaps the scenes at the villa celebrate

Among some--count me in--the most memorable scene in the Villa is the floor
of a large room now thought to have been the ladies' gym; thus the ten, well,
nine, Bikini Girls that are the Villa Romana's main emblem

Running a deep pattern...

OK, back to The Great Hunt

The guy with the funny hat is said by some to be the Master

Still more Hunt

Helpful model #...well, locked off in a room, it actually wasn't that helpful

Satire (?) on the Circus Maximus--indeed there are the Red, Blue, Green, and
White teams

Another huge seafood scene

All 200 feet of The Great Hunt

Dionysan cult, Pan, maenads, satyrs, and such; oh my

Detail of an interesting marine scene with assorted sea divinities including
nereids, tritons, mermaids, and a stray dragon and panther

And now for something completely different: an
Ichthyocentaur...human torso, horse's front legs, and fish

More of said marine scene

According to Vicki, the most memorable and emblematic scene: Cupid and Psyche

Lastly, Ulysses telling Polyphemous to have another...

Also at the Villa that day, a touring group of vintage Jags

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