LaurieAnnie

LaurieAnnie

Posted on 06/22/2010


Photo taken on August  1, 2009



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Princeton
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Roman
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2009
marble
mask
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Menander


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Relief of a Seated Poet (Menander) with Masks of New Comedy in the Princeton University Art Museum, August 2009

Relief of a Seated Poet (Menander) with Masks of New Comedy in the Princeton University Art Museum, August 2009
Relief of a seated poet (Menander) with masks of New Comedy
1st century B.C. – early 1st century A.D.

Roman

Republican or Early Imperial

White marble, probably Italian

44.3 x 59.5 x 8.5 cm. (17 7/16 x 23 7/16 x 3 3/8 in.)

Museum purchase, Caroline G. Mather Fund

Object Number: y1951-1

Text from: artmuseum.princeton.edu/art/collections/ancient/search/

and

Relief of a Seated Poet, probably Menander, with Comic Masks
Roman, 1st century BC- early 1st century AD
Formerly in the Stroganoff Collection, Rome
Marble

# Y1951-1

The seated man contemplating a comic mask is generally considered to be Menander (341-292 BC), the great New Comedy playwright whose works were much admired throughout the Roman Period. The identification is not certain– half of the man's head was restored in modern times– but the masks of a youth, female, and old man are stock types of New Comedy, and the way the man wears his himation around his hips, revealing his torso, is characteristic of portrayals of poets, philosophers, and other men of letters. A very similar relief in the Vatican has a draped female at the right, possibly Thalia, the Muse of Comedy. The seated poet on both reliefs may be based on a bronze statue of Menander erected soon after his death in the Theater of Dionysos in Athens. The unrolled scroll hanging from the table suggests that he has paused in composition to seek inspiration from the masks of his principal characters, whose open mouths almost seem to dictate their own dialogue.

Text from the Princeton University Art Museum label.

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