Marble Theatrical Mask
replica: from the Greek Ministry of Culture, Athens
gift of: Dept. of Classics, University of Saskatchewan
date of the original: 1st century B.C.
provenance of the original: near the Stoa of Attalus in the Athenian Agora; now in the National Archaeology Museum, Athens
description: Theatrical mask with closed eyes/mouth. Plaster replica; marble original. Height 29 cm, width 20.5 cm, depth 16.5 cm.
This mask represents a character from New Comedy. The term “New Comedy” relates to the comedic plays of the fourth and third centuries BC, as opposed to “Old Comedy,” which is associated with plays of the fifth century BC.
The best known New Comedic author was Menander, who wrote plays which depicted humorous aspects of daily life. We know from ancient author Julius Pollox that there were some forty-four types of comedic masks. (See also: Clay Comic Mask; Theatrical Mask.)
(See also: Bronze Tragic Theatrical Mask; Clay Tragic Mask.)