Clay Comic Mask

Hellenistic

replica: from the Greek Ministry of Culture, Athens

gift of: Dept. of Classics, University of Saskatchewan

date of the original: 3rd century AD

provenance of the original: the Ancient Agora, Athens; now in the Agora Museum, Athens

description: Comedic theatrical mask (see also: Theatrical MaskMarble Theatrical Mask) with open eyes and mouth holes. Plaster replica; terracotta original. The original is a later (Roman) representation of an ancient Greek theatrical mask. Height 27 cm, width 19 cm, depth 10.5 cm.

These two exhibits--the Clay Comic and Tragic Masks--represent a continued fondness during the Roman period for Greek theatrical ornamentation. This is evidenced, for example, by the fourth period of wall paintings found at Pompeii, and Gnathian ware (a late Roman pottery style), both of which exhibit the use of elaborate theatre imagery, curtains, pillars, and masks, for the adornment of household objects. (See also: Bronze Tragic Theatrical Mask.)