Erich Lessing

The mosaics at the Villa Romana evoke a sense of wonder before the great spectacle of life—sometimes showing a carefree and capricious kind of playfulness, and sometimes showing ferocious scenes of disfigurement and death (see the following photos in this article). In this mosaic, the so-called bikini girls appear to be crowning each other, perhaps following a gymnastics competition. Other mosaics at the villa depict dancing, chariot racing and lovers embracing—joyous scenes of daily life among the Roman elite.