The mask features a rounded skullcap with two holes for hanging in the upper section of the head. The oval face presents a convex forehead with a cleft at center, high arched eyebrows above half-closed eyes, a long thin nose, puffy cheeks, and a broad mouth with an ambiguous smile. Fleshy lips frame the wide-open mouth; the jaw is prominent and features a full, dimpled chin. The hair is painted red and forms a crown of radial striations around the forehead. These characteristics associate the mask with the New Comedy character Colax, an adulator (or vain flatterer).


  • Title: Comic Mask
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 300–200 B.C.
  • Location Created: Tarentum (Taras), South Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 9 × 8.4 × 9 cm (3 9/16 × 3 5/16 × 3 9/16 in.)
  • Type: Mask
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Terracotta with white slip and polychromy (brownish red, pink)
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 96.AD.247
  • Culture: Greek (South Italian, Tarantine)
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California, Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Sculpture (Visual Works)

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