The masks were always a must-have accessory of the scene of ancient theater. Comic or tragic, leather or wood, they dressed the face of the actor and made him even closer to his character.
Masks shown in the new block by French Post illustrate six major cultural imprints.
The ancient theater, Greece: tragic clay mask from the site of Myrina reflects a sense of horror.
Noh Theater, Japan: carved mask from cypress wood represents the face of a young girl. Noh masks were made in four styles (men, women, old people and demons).
The theater WayangTopeng: mask represents the legendary prince Panji, incarnation of the god Vishnu. The green color highlights self-control ofPanji. Very stretched, almost closedeyesshow that the character focuses on his environment. The line of his eyebrows and the color of his teeth are signs of refinement due to his rank and the nobility of his character. The mask is taken from the collections of the Musee du Quai Branly.
Commedia dell'arte, Italy: born in the sixteenth century, mixing farce and popular tradition, it depicts masked characters like Harlequin and Punchinello.
The Sandaetheater, Korea: the used masks often conveyed a social critique. Theater ofSandaemask was the prerogative of the court of Korea under the Yi dynasty (1392-1908).
The Topengtheater, Bali:musical and dancing masked theater, Topeng shows different status of the social hierarchy. The stamp depicts a wooden mask of Minister or Patih.