Roman Mosaic Panel of a Theater Mask
Period: 2nd century A.D.
Dimensions: Height: 67.0cm; Length: 64.0cm
Ex-Asfar & Sarkis, early 1960’s.
Fragmentary, but the image is in an excellent state of preservation, with most original tessarae remaining.
This image, executed with much care and precision, is also quite remarkable for the richness of its polychrome. The frame is composed of freases with geometric motifs such as the yellow and black meander, now lost to a great extent, and a red and blue ‘S’ shaped garland. The central panel of this mosaic is decorated with the representation of a grotesque theater mask, with its large open mouth, a wide nose, deep wrinkles on the forehead and cheeks, and menacing eyes. The prototypes of this subject, well known from other mosaics, and based on the mask of a character of the Antique comedy: the old slave, can be dated back to the Hellensitic period. Roman artists subsequently reproduced those in countless variations.
ANDREAE B., Antike Bildmosaiken, Mayence/Rhin, 2003, pp. 219-245.
CIMOK F, A Corpus Antioch Mosaics, Istanbul, 2000, p. 171.