This Red and Gold Venetian Mask is transformative, as decoration or fancy dress, but it also has an intriguing back story.
Venetian carnival masks were often inspired by characters from the Comedia dell’arte (a travelling troupe of actors who performed plays, akin to pantomimes). This is Columbina, Harlequin’s partner. Her beautifully modelled face has a craquelure finish and golden curlicues encircle her eyes. Recalling a jester’s hat, her headdress (in black velvet and red brocade) is divided into seven points with a bell at each end. The braid around her brow is anchored in place by a handsome gilt lion’s mask (presumably referring to St Mark’s Square).
The Venetian Carnival has a long history. In 1162 revelry in St Mark’s Square was encouraged to mark a strategic victory for the Venetian Republic. Three centuries later during the Renaissance, the Carnival was a tradition encouraged to promote the prestige of La Serenissima. But by the 18th Century, the Baroque extravaganzas – carousing – were out of control and in 1798 the Carnival, along with its anonymising masks, was outlawed. However, in 1979 the Carnival was reintroduced and now, over three million people visit Venice for the event, drawn particularly to the competition for the most beautiful mask.
Please note this is for dressing up or to use as a Christmas decoration, it is not a toy.
Material: 50% Acrylic, 50% Poyester, metal details
Size: One size – H:37cm,W:42cm, D:13cm
Ties: Black satin ribbon
Warning, not a child's play thing. Keep away from fire.