keskiviikko 3. elokuuta 2011

Venetian Masks

I wonder which I adore more: horns or decorated masks?
(And I hope there aren't too many grammar mistakes in the text, I got a bit carried away and now, while finishing it, I can almost see the morning Sun rising. Written before dawn indeed.)


The elaborate venetian masks are well-known all around the world. They are generally known for being worn during Carnevale, but it wasn't always like that.

The masks were allowed in daily use, and with them their wearers could hide their identity and status, allowing them to act more freely and without the possible boundaries that would otherwise apply. As you may imagine, such a possibility could be used -and was used- in good as well as bad: one might sneak up to meet and speak with their lovers, state their opinions more freely or stab a dagger in an enemy's back in the darkness of the night.

Later the use of the masks was restricted, for obvious reasons. But the tradition still lives on during the Carnevale, and well so. The beautiful and detailed venetian masks are loved all over the World, and they keep stirring our imagination.

The carnivale of Venice itself started in the middle of 12th century, when a festival was held to commemorate a military victory. The festival became a tradition and as it developed it became a big, colorful carnivale, in which the masks were worn and the partying went on and on...
Until Napoleon came and ruined their fun in 1797.

The comeback followed in 1980, to lure the tourists to Venice. How unromantic!
But Carnivale is back, and that's a sweet thing, now ain't it.

As is easy to notice, there are many different masks around.
The most famous mask is the Bauta, which hides the whole face of its wearer.
Columbina is a half mask, which is often highly decorated and held up to the face by a baton or tied on with a ribbon.
Medico Della Peste, ie the plague doctor, is also one of the well known masks and it's name tells a lot of its origins. This rather omnious mask has a long peak, which makes it very easy to recognize.

What fascinates me in these masks aside of their obvious beauty is their mysterious atmosphere and the fact that just a look at one of them and stories sprang to one's mind. And of course they are an interesting piece of history, and I do love history.

If you'd like to read more
[Wikipedia] will tell you, for example, more of the different masks.
[This article] is well written and gives a nice overall look to the same subject as this entry.

If you'd like to see the masks in action, Wikipedia, our helpful friend, recommends a movie called [Eyes Wide Shut]. I won't comment that since I haven't seen it, but! [Casanova] (with Heath Ledger) is a delightful film taking place in 1753 Venice.

These shops came up as I was googling for pictures:
[Venetian Masks Store]
[Venetian Masks Shop]

The mask pictures featured were found by using google, I do not own them.

Venice, Venice. We will meet one day.


As for other things? other arm looks as if it was of a different color than the rest of me ;__;.

FF8, Historia (=history) magazines and Goethe have kept me amused these summer days. Oh and a short anime series with a name Mononoke, (which is visually very interesting).

I'm up to sewing again! This time it's a shirt. And I'm not sure how it will turn out *coughcough*.
This photo summarizes most of my resent shoppings:


4 kommenttia:

  1. Tämä oli todella kiinnostava postaus, itseäkin kiehtovat kovasti venetsialaiset naamiot ja niiden historia. :)

  2. Oooh, Venetian masks! :O The plague doctor ones are a particular favourite of mine, esp. when they're decorated all sparkly like in that one photo you posted! Although I must add that the fan mask also stole my heart a little bit...

    Also: Mononoke mentioned!

  3. Blue: Kiitos, mukavaa kuulla, että onnistuin tällä viihdyttämään muitakin kuin itseäni :'D.
    Erittäin kiehtovia ovat, ja Venetsian historia ylipäätänsä sisältää yhtä sun toista jännittävää :).

    Kaino: Ooh, you know Mononoke? It was indeed a very interetsing anime :D.
    Not a bad choice, the plague doc's mask! They are indeed quite striking ^^. I must admit that my favorite is perhaps the full-face mask >u>.

  4. Classy lady with a little bit of fun and a little bit of dangerous,very sexy