Saturday, August 06, 2011

Venice 5

Venice 5

One of the things we were told that we should buy in Venice was a mask. Most are made in Venice, but some are made in China and are much cheaper. We didn't buy one, even though they were interesting, because we were afraid it wouldn't get home in our luggage without being broken. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

Venetian masks are a centuries-old tradition of Venice, Italy. The masks are typically worn during the Carnevale (Carnival of Venice), but have been used on many other occasions in the past, usually as a device for hiding the wearer's identity and social status. The mask would permit the wearer to act more freely in cases where he or she wanted to interact with other members of the society outside the bounds of identity and everyday convention. It was useful for a variety of purposes, some of them illicit or criminal, others just personal, such as romantic encounters.

Venetian masks are characterised by their ornate design, featuring bright colours such as gold or silver and the use of complex decorations in the baroque style. Many designs of Venetian masks stem from Commedia dell'arte. They can be full-face masks (e.g. the bauta) or eye masks (e.g. the Columbina).

As you can see from the photos, there are many different shapes and designs of masks. People in several shops painted masks as tourists watched - those were definitely NOT made in China. The second photo shows a price of 15 (around $22) for the masks being sold by street vendors. I didn't venture into the shops to check the prices there.

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and photographic enlargements.
They can also be purchased as slide shows
and/or wallpapers/screensavers.

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