Actor with a mask

A bronze figure, hollow in the back area, representing an actor in a theatre mask with a large open mouth and clothing appropriate to the profession. The culture of the theatre flourished in Ancient Greece between 550 and 220 BC. It would seem that Greek theatre began in circular spaces in the open air, normally taking advantage of slopes in the terrain or the side of a mountain and so making the construction of terraces of seating relatively easy. Later, Roman culture absorbed this cultural element and introduced it into their cities.

Through the use of semi-circular-arches the construction of theatres could be carried out in the centre of a community: there was no need to use mountain sides.

The popularization and great attraction of theatre led to the creation of a series of artistic objects based on this theme. Common among these are the masks in terracotta and stone carved as decorative elements, and various sculptures on a small scale of actors, as in this case, were also common. Even the rites and scenes from theatre were represented in mosaics and frescos.


BIEBER M., The History of the Greek and Roman Theater. Princeton. 1961.

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