Mosaic of the “Casa del Drago”(House of the Dragon) from Caulonia, now Monasterace,RC
The mosaic comes from a house of the Hellenistic period in Caulonia (Monasterace); this house – called “Casa del drago” (House of the Dragon) – was named after a mosaic found in one of the state rooms overlooking the courtyard.
The Caulonia houses were set up in same type lots subdivided in half for two different houses. They chose the same scheme, called pastàs type: the state rooms or the living rooms were placed by the side of a narrow and extended colonnade corridor (pastàs)overlooking the courtyard.
The living rooms, facing west, were hold separate from the private rooms placed on the south side.
Some houses, the richer ones, show a subdivision between androecium (men’s rooms) and gynoecium (women’s rooms).
The House of the Dragon was a sumptuous house, because it occupied the area of an entire lot.
It was subdivided in a residential part, housing private rooms and in a state part, where three dining rooms, two with mosaic floors, overlooking the pastas opened on a floored courtyard.
During the Hellenistic era, mosaics were exclusively realized for prestigious dwellings.
The Caulonia mosaic depicts a marine dragon, brown-coloured and red-headed, on a background of small white tesseras. In this period, into mosaics and painting was shown a predilection for scenes depicting animal and vegetable kingdom subjects, portrayed with great realism.
It was still frequent, like in this case, that craftsmen were inspired by the parchment decoration, distinguished by an artificial liveliness that loved the portrayal of landscapes populated by stylized plants and fantastic animals.