The Villa Real's art collection brings together a selection of 40 flawlessly restored ancient mosaics from the Roman era and of Syrian origin, dating between the second and sixth centuries A.D., that offer a wide array of thematic options (geometric, plant and figurative) and a small selection of Christian mosaics.
In the Roman era, the province of Syria was a flourishing market centre, and all types of craftsmanship were practiced in its cities. Of special note were the elegant mosaics of Antioch. Syria was also a cultural melting pot. Thus, among the mosaics in this collection we find examples of the different languages spoken in this part of the empire: Greek as the official language, and other indigenous languages like Syriac, a later dialect of Aramaic.
The works on display in the Villa Real are colour compositions that show a great attachment to the Hellenistic mosaic tradition, both in trying to reproduce images naturally and in their iconographic themes. In addition, it is worth mentioning the abundant use of floral, plant and animal motifs.
The collection also has a small number of Christian mosaics which reproduce the ornamental elements that were common in this type of flooring, such as crosses, animals drinking the water of eternal life, funerary inscriptions and allegories of paradise, among others.
In addition, the Villa Real displays a collection of Greek kraters from Apulia belonging to one of the most important private collections in Spain, along with contemporary paintings by artists such as Josep Maria Guinovart, Antoni Tàpies and Andy Warhol, who inspired the decoration in the East 47 restaurant.