A ROMAN MARBLE THEATRE MASK, CIRCA 1ST/2ND CENTURY A.D.

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A ROMAN MARBLE THEATRE MASK, CIRCA 1ST/2ND CENTURY A.D.

Height: 21 cm; 8 ¼ in

Price available on request

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PROVENANCE
Kenzo collection, Paris, acquired in the early 1980s

CATALOGUE NOTE
In Ancient Greece and during the Roman Empire, the use masks of was essential in theatre dramas, both tragedies and comedies. It allowed fast role changes for the same actor (when they played multiple parts), but also the representation of comic events based on the identity of two characters (when one was the impersonator of another).

The present mask comes from a larger decorative marble frieze or relief, in a private household. The presence of rust around the mouth suggests that it might have been used in later times as a water sprout. The carving was inspired by the Ancient Greek tragic type, especially for the high hairstyle of the wig (onkos) and exaggerated expression.

Whereas Ancient Greek masks were carved in deep relief, the workmanship of the present artwork exhibits a smaller forehead, marked eyelids, ocular eyelids and brows, which points to it being produced in a province of the Roman Empire.

For a similar example with a combination of Ancient Greek features and Roman attributes, see: http://ceres.mcu.es/pages/Main?idt=126898&inventary=39545&table=FMUS&museum=MAN#.XsP-av-esLs.mailto

For all enquires, please contact ancientsculpture@sothebys.com

Currently Available for Private Sale

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