Masquerade : Carnival of Venice

Captured in early 2018 during the first 2 weeks of the carnival in Venice. The number of tourist feels as if Venice will sink! That is even when the winter weather is awful, raining 5 out of 7 days! In my opinion, Carnival in Greece and Germany are very enjoyable, but Carnival in Venice is unique and it is very photogenic.

Masquerade in context, is the festive gathering of persons wearing masks, and is quintessential of the Carnival of Venice. History describes the period when Venice was powerful, mask wearing is ubiquitous that it protects the wearer's identity during promiscuous or decadent activities. While mask had the social function of social equality, human nature takes advantage of identity concealment, and the society grew ever more decadent; gambling and sexual activities that extends to even monks and nuns. While Rome was initially oblivious to the city states affair so long as it contributes generously, it was outlawed by Catholic Churches after 1100, especially during religious holidays, and mask wearing were eventually restricted to the period between Christmas and Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday in February or March marking the first day of Lent, 40 days before Easter for the religious fasting of meat). This evolve into the present day Carnival of Venice, whereby Carnival in general are celebrated in Europe.

The musical quartet with Basilica di San Marco in the backdrop, Piazza San Marco. The men down Pantalone mask while the ladies wore Colombina mask.

Korean dancers came to the Venice Carnival, and they performed spontaneously in front of Basilica di San Marco at Piazza San Marco.

Volto mask bearers in front of Basilica di San Marco during dusk.

Volto mask with elaborate costumes with Basilica di San Marco in the background.

Feathered Volto Mask bearer with elegant European ball costume at the port off Piazza San Marco

Feathered Volto mask at the Gondola service area in front of Piazza San Marco

Colombina mask

Beautiful Mask! The first is a unique mask, which I think passes off as a Buata mask. After is a golden Volto mask.

No Mask!

Jesters. Formal are classical Jester mask, the latter are costumed as clowns downing a Colombina mask and Volto mask.

Top: Feathered Volto mask with the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore in the background. Bottom: Volto on a stick (left) and Colombina (right)

Feathered Volta mask bearer from a Venetian apartment.

At Piazza San Marco, Volto mask and Jester on high stilts

Zanni mask at Teatro la Fenice. Volto mask bearer at the Grand Canal.

Reenactment Festa della Marie parade

Venetian mask were evolved from theatre, and are broadly categorised into COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE MASKS and CARNIVAL MASK. The former is dated back to the second half of the sixteenth century and represent characters, ethnic traditions, professions and trades closely tied to the different cities of Italy personified by professional actors in the Commedia dell'Arte (means Art of Comedy in Italian). They include Arlecchin, Pantalone, Colombina, Zanni and many more. The latter was a collective of 18th century Carnival of Venice, and they include Buata, Dama, Jester, Volto. Of special interest linked to 14th century black plague is the DOTTORE PESTE mask, with its long beak (like the Zanni), meant to prevent a doctor’s face from coming too close to a patient, and the beak acts as a form of respirator.

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