Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Black-and-white mosaics with geometric and floral motifs
This month’s masterpieces from Hadrian’s Villa are the black-and-white mosaics with geometric and floral motifs from the Hospitalia (guesthouse).
The Hospitalia (guesthouse) was a two-storey building. It contained ten T-shaped bedrooms (cubiculae) on the first floor which were located on each side of a long and wide central hallway, at the southern end of which was a hall. Nothing survives of the second floor which presumably mirrored the layout of the first. Each cubicula had three alcoves for three beds and was decorated with mosaics made up of a central floral section surrounded by geometric patterns (where the beds stood). The structure dates to the first phase of the villa’s construction (118-125 AD) and was most likely designed to accommodate the Praetorian Guard or the upper-class servants (liberti, priests, bodyguards, officers).