Theatre was immensely popular in ancient Greece and also during Roman times, when this interest in theatre found expression in the numerous theatrical motifs used for decorative purposes, from lamps to wall paintings. Romans developed their theatrical tradition from the Ancient Greek tragedies and comedies, from which they took direct inspiration, starting to stage plays in 240 BC. Theatre was usually performed during public festivals and its influence on the mind and spirit was thought to be so powerful that no permanent structure to hold the plays was built before 55 BC, when Pompey the Great build the first stone theatre.
Roman Bronze Theatre Mask Applique
An Ancient Roman bronze theatre mask appliqué with hollow back and suspension chains. The appliqué is pierced centrally at the top and bottom, and at the lower corners of the piece. From these piercings chains are attached: a longer chain is attached to the top with an open hook and two shorter chains at the bottom corners. This appliqué would have been decoratively suspended, perhaps from a piece of furniture.
Condition: Very fine, with attractive light green patination over the whole.