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 BC 

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 MaskClay Comic MaskMarble 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.