Friday, September 10, 2010

The Art of Ancient Greek Theater

The Scout Report
September 10, 2010

The Getty Museum provides this glimpse of Greek theater by utilizing both images and audio. Text at the website informs us that "Colorful characters, elaborate costumes, stage sets, music, and above all masks" were characteristic of Greek drama. Examples of images available to view on the site include sculpture and relief depicting actors. Many of these images feature actors wearing masks, such as Statue of an Actor as Papposilenos, dating from A.D. 100-199. In Greek myth, Papposilenos is the father of the band of satyrs that raised Dionysos. There are also over a dozen vessels to view; these vessels were used for various purposes including cooling wine, storage jars, and mixing vessels. The vessels are painted with scenes from the theater, and several are accompanied by audio of curators explaining the iconography. One of the featured items in the collection is a papyrus fragment from 175-200 A.D. with a few lines from a play by Sophocles. The exhibition closes with a reading, in ancient Greek, of an excerpt from this play, entitled The Trackers; a scene in which satyrs also appear, hearing music played on the then-newly invented lyre.


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