Ancient Theatre Masks. The masks of Tragedy and Comedy.

Ancient Roman Theatre Masks. Greek cult of Bacchus. Caricature, Cartoon mask
Roman Theatre Masks

Roman Theatre Masks. Tragic and grotesque Mask.

A hallmark of the tragic and grotesque theater in ancient Rome were the colorful and expressive masks (caricature). They accompanied the Roman theater play as a heroic choir, using songs, lively gestures, songs and movements. They were taken from Greece and reflected in the grotesque mask, the irreverent satyrs of ancient Greek cult of Bacchus, again. In return, the tragic mask was assigned to the fauns in its subtle beauty. The masks were elaborately worked metal and designed so that they as a sounding the tone of the actors reinforced.

This type of Roman masks was widespread and was often found during excavations.

Ancient, Art, Greco, Roman, Pompeii, Theatre, masks, Satyr, Performing, masks,
Greco Roman Pompeii. Satyr Performing masks.

Above: Satyrs Theatrical performing masks from Pompeii. Ancient Art Greco Roman style. Antiquité Art Gréco Romain de Pompéi. Masques Scéniques en Marble Blanc et tête de Satyre.

Maschera Scenica. Antique Roman Theatre Mask. Tragic Masks theatrical performing masks.
Roman Scenic mask

Above: From the book Le gemme antiche figurate di Leonardo Agostini Senese, by Leonardo Agostini, published by Giacomo Dragondelli, Rome, 1657. Discoveries from the Augustus ruins of great Rome.

Roman Clothing and Fashion by Alexandra Croom.

In this richly illustrated survey, Alexandra Croom describes the range and style of clothing worn throughout the Western Empire and shows how fashions changed between the first and the sixth centuries.


  • The Masks of Menander: Sign and Meaning in Greek and Roman Performance
  • The Stagecraft and Performance of Roman Comedy
  • Costume in Greek Classic Drama (Dover Fashion and Costumes)
  • Early Modern Theatricality (Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature)
  • Costume in Greek Tragedy
  • Caricature and other comic art in all times and many lands by James Parton, 1877. 
  • Plautus in Performance: The Theatre of the Mind (Greek and Roman Theatre Archive,)


Note:  Costume of Dione, Mother of Venus by Léon Bakst.

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The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World Paperback – December 7, 2021
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