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View of the "Tragic Poet" mosaic because of which scholars have called this house "The House of the Tragic Poet." It appears that a group of male actors are gathered around a seated older male and are putting on masks and costumes for a performance. Note from right to left the figure getting into a garments, assisted by a boy, the flute player, and the two figures on the left clad only in brief garments—one with a mask on.
The seated figure seems to be selecting a mask from those found in a basket at his feet. Could it be that the seated person is the poet who wrote a play that the actors are about to perform?
Why this is in the center of the tablinum seems to be a mystery.