Erich Lessing

In one of Pompeii’s “sumptuous private mansions,” the House of the Faun, Mark Twain may have seen this mosaic of a festoon mask hanging from a garland of twisted leaves and fruit. Standing in the center of the house’s large atrium was a bronze statue of a faun, or semi-divine goat-boy known for his lustiness—hence the name “House of the Faun.” Another room in this house contained the famous mosaic depicting Alexander the Great pursuing the Persian king Darius at the Battle of Issus (see photo of mosaic depicting Alexander the Great).