Theatrical Mask

Hellenistic

replica: from the Louvre, Paris

date of the original: 4th century BC 

provenance of the original: now in the Louvre, Paris

description: A comedic theatrical mask (see also: Clay Comic MaskMarble Theatrical Mask). Reduced-scale ornamental resin replica; terracotta original. Height 13 cm, width 12 cm, depth 6 cm.

The theatre was synonymous with the worship of the god Dionysus: god of wine, revelry and cathartic release. The mask symbolized the power of Dionysus (see: Hermes and the Infant Dionysus)--the transformation of an individual from the state of reserve to one of frenzy (see: Maenad Rending Her Prey). The cult of Dionysus sought to give reign to the darker persona of an individual.

(See also: Bronze Tragic Theatrical MaskClay Tragic Mask.)