October 28, 2004

4. Consider this painting:

The Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii.


i. Is it similar or different in subject to the vases considered in Q.3 above?

The detail of this picture allows us to see the emotion and exxagerated expression in the mask (which would have been necessary for such a huge theatron). It is similar in style to the ones we have seen previously, and also similar in the way that it is being held up by the actor.

ii. What do you think the purpose of such paintings might have been?

The purpose of these drawings was to pay homage to the great event that took place in the theatron, and also to depict the myth that the play dealed with.

*It is a chronicle of theatrical performances, but we must treat the paintings with caution as the detail may have been distorted via artistic licence, or simply a lack of knowledge as to the exact form of theatre and the masks at the time.*

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