Mosaics of Villa s. Anna

Loc. S. Anna, (Spello)

Villa Sant’Anna Mosaics In July 2005, the remains of a monumental complex of large dimensions were found just right outside Spoleto’s walls. Further archaeological investigations have led to the identification of seven rooms, probably part of the central body of a Roman Villa or of a public building in the Late Imperial Age. The first room preserves almost completely intact its three-color—white, pink and black—Mosaic Floor with a geometrical pattern. In the second room the polychrome mosaic floor is still preserved along with remnants of the frescoed walls. The decoration of the almost 140 square meters of mosaic floor presents oval patterns called “cushions” reproducing zoomorphic and anthropomorphous figures. Wild animal figures, such as panthers, deer, wild boar and ducks etc. and of fantasy are represented inside the ovals. At the center of the room, a scene with two nude human male figures—by profile—pouring wine is placed. The character on the left holds an amphora on his shoulders, from which he pours wine into a small cup, held by the character to the right; the abundant wine spilling out of the cup is collected inside a large krater vase left on the floor. The other symmetrically disposed characters, always depicted with the black tesserae, hold on to hand foliages or elements attributed to the world of agriculture, probably depicting the four seasons. A third room has a geometric mosaic floor with larger tesserae. It is most probable that this was the peristyle, from which the entire length—24,50meters by 5 meters—is known. The fluidity of the design and the chromatic choices, in particular in the larger room, testify the high technique of the workshop, whose labor force could have come from Rome to satisfy the requests of a particularly wealthy client coming from specific social strata. The Villa can be dated to the early 4th century A.D., date which the materials found on the excavation site also seem to indicate.

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