Itinerary B
Piazza Armerina

[5] A miniature forest

Beyond the curtain covering the entrance to this reception room, located in the private area of the Peristyle, the eye was caught by the multitude of colours of the mosaic tiles on the floor, as it is today. It depicts all the stages of hunting party with dogs involving the dominus with his family and some servants. The scenery is that of the rich and lush landscape that surrounded the late antique residence, with the species of trees present in the woods at that time. Starting from the top, a man and two greyhounds are depicted advancing in the hunt with agility. A few cypresses hide the flight of a fox being chased, with an increasingly dynamic rhythm, by other hounds. Notice the rendering of movement that is also evident in the swelling of the hunter’s purple cloak.

Below, the action seems to stop with the celebration of a country sacrifice with high-ranking people. Accompanied by servants, they are arranged near an altar placed in front of the effigy of Diana, goddess of the hunt. The bright colours of the protagonists’ robes stand out for their colourful rendering! If we look down a little further, an open-air breakfast occupies much of the area between two registers. The atmosphere is relaxed as the protagonists, surrounded by servants busy with other work, sit on a large semi-circular sofa in front of the canteen, sheltered by a red curtain. If we look down again, the scene becomes even more dynamic with fox and hare hunting. A hunter on horseback has spotted the hare and is preparing to shoot it. At the end of this magnificent glimpse into life in the villa, deer and wild boar hunting is depicted. In a more rocky and less verdant natural setting, it is the setting for the more demanding moments of this activity, reserved for the family of the dominus and his entourage.