Greek Tragedy Wall Mask
This handsome terracotta wall mask is based on an ancient Greek actor's mask, worn in the dramas performed in the theaters circa 550 to 220 BC. Worn only by men, the masks had large open mouths to amplify their voices and exaggerated features to more clearly express emotions. The masks also allowed an actor to play multiple roles. Those masks were made of wood, wax or leather so there are few that have survived. Terracotta reproductions were made in a smaller size to place on graves and shrines.
This mask depicts a young man with wide eyes, arched eyebrows and a grimacing mouth. His expression is one of horror and is part of a Tragedy drama. It was hand made of red clay and then glazed with shades of copper and verdigris. The back is not glazed, displaying the bare terracotta and has a cord of the same color threaded through two holes and knotted on the front on each side. The words "MADE IN GREECE" are stamped into the clay in an indented cartouche.
It measures 8 3/4 inches from top to bottom, 6 inches across at the widest point and about 3 inches deep. It weighs 1 1/4 pounds and is in excellent shape, with no nicks, cracks or other damage. Wonderful alone on the wall, it mixes well with other artworks, like the Leonard Pytlak print we've shown here,