Mosaic with scenic masks

Mosaico con maschere sceniche
Mosaic / Intarsia
2nd century AD
Material and technique: 
cm 74,6
From Rome, Aventine - Thermae Decianae (?)
inv. MC0392

The mosaic represents two masks leaning on a socle projecting out from two walls that meet at an angle, seen in perspective. Two flutes lean on one wall. Their shadows project onto the wall. The female mask depicts a woman with large eyes and wide-open mouth. A ribbon, kontted into a bow at the center of her brow, appears in her curly hair with long ringlets. The physiognomic features of the man are exaggerated and ridiculed. The mouth is enormous, the nose is large and squashed. The eyes bulge out, and the cheeks are wrinkled. On his head is a crown of ivy and berries, decoration associated with the cult of Dionysus, which was linked closely to the birth of the Greek theater.

Masterpieces of the hall

The hall

Palazzo Nuovo - Sala delle Colombe

This room owes its name to one of the two mosaics herein exhibited, found in Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.
The glass-fronted cabinets contain other particularly interesting exhibits; in addition to bas-relief fragments of a Tabula Iliaca with a miniaturist representation of scenes from the Iliad, we can see a series of bronze tables with engraved laws and honorary inscriptions.

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