Mask of Dionysos, 1st cent. BC

Mask of Dionysos,1st cent. BC

Left half of mask larger than life size depicting Dionysos. It was found on the Acropolis' south slope where the god’s sanctuary was also located.

Here Dionysos is old with thick beard and rich hair adorned with a band. Another band or stephane made of some other material, possibly metal, must have fitted into the small drills on the right. The god gazes to the ground indicating that the mask was suspended in an elevated position and the narrow depression on its upper part would have facilitated its fastening to another surface.
The mask would have been set up on the trunk of a tall tree or a column dressed with garments, around which ecstatic dances and other religious performances would have taken place. Although similar scenes with masks of Dionysos erected in his sanctuaries are known through vase painting iconography, the mask of the Acropolis Museum is one of the few examples that have survived to our days.