Clay Tragic Mask

Hellenistic

replica: from the Greek Ministry of Culture, Athens

gift of: Dept. of Classics, University of Saskatchewan

date of the original: first half of 3rd century AD 

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

description: Tragic theatrical mask (see also: Bronze Tragic Theatrical Mask) with open eye holes and closed mouth. Plaster replica; terracotta original. The original is a later (Roman) representation of an ancient Greek theatrical mask. Height 21 cm, width 17 cm, depth 7.5 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: Theatrical MaskMarble Theatrical Mask.)