Venice is famous for what? For the gondolas, San Marco, Carnival and its masks …
But where are the Venetian masks so famous?
We know that they were used to maintain the anonymity of pranks and intrigues. But Venetian masks have never been something anonymous, indeed!
There are various types of mask, each with its own function.
Let’s see some.
The Bauta is one of the most authentic Venetian masks, and it is accompanied by a certain type of clothing: the white mask, called « larva », should be worn in combination with a black veil, a cloak of the same color, said Tabarro, and to a dark color tricorn. It was the best mask used to keep the identity hidden.
A little curiosity: the married women who went to the theater were obliged to wear it, while for the girls looking for a husband was forbidden.
Mask worn by playful women, it represent a poor and sick man. The women were accustomed to wear wandering the streets supported by hangers, as if they were not able to walk, and dressed like indigent.
It has a very particular appearance: in some cases it is a mask with feminine features, in some other looks even feline. For the most part it was worn by men, along with clothing and typically inhabit female and a big pair of wooden clogs. In ancient times, the man who wore it carried on his shoulders, in a wicker basket, a young man, smiling and oblivious to the fatigue of the poor « woman »! If the mask was featured cats, inside the basket there was … a kitten!
It’s a clown in white and short dress, always cheerful and prankster. His favorite joke was pulling eggs filled with perfumes to friends, acquaintances and girls who committed the imprudence to appear on the balconies to its passage.
The Moretta is a mask of French origin. Initially covered in black velvet, was used by the French ladies to visit the nuns. Caught on very quickly in the Serenissima, as they made more beautiful and mysterious the female faces.
It should be worn with wide-brimmed hats decorated with veils.