Bronze Tragic Theatrical Mask
replica: from the Greek Ministry of Culture, Athens
gift of: Dept. of Classics, University of Saskatchewan
date of the original: 4th century B.C.
provenance of the original: now in the Piraeus Museum
description: Tragic theatrical mask (see also: Clay Tragic Mask) with open eye and mouth holes. Plaster replica with verdigris patina; bronze original. Height 38 cm, width 34 cm, depth 25 cm.
This exhibit is earlier in date than the other masks. The original piece was found in a warehouse in Piraeus, which had likely been burnt during the Roman general Sulla’s attack in 86 BC.
Many of the characteristics of Hellenistic theatrical masks (see also: Theatrical Mask; Clay Comic Mask; Marble Theatrical Mask) are in evidence here, including the large, exaggerated mouth and raised forehead. Obviously its size and weight would have made it impossible to wear in a theatrical production, indicating that it was deocrative in nature.