18.000 x 20.000 x 1.000 inches
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Venetian Mystery Mask
Painting - Oil / Canvs
Carnevale or Carnival is a special time in Venice, mysterious faces are everywhere. The celebration of Carnival is practiced throughout many countries of the world, it goes back to the 10th century in some societies. The period from December to March was the traditional period when Venetians where allowed to wear Masks however in Venice many people wore them also from October to December so the art of Mask making flourished. In 1339 a law was passed punishing anyone wearing "vulgar disguises" or wearing masks while entering a Nuns convent, phoney wigs, beards and excessive make up was also a no no.
There is a traditional variety of masks in Venice, one style is called Bouta which sports an open bottom for eating etc. this was usually worn with a red cape and tricorn head gear. Another one was called the Columbina, a smaller half mask with lots of glitter and often held up to the eyes. The Medico della Peste usually white and sported a long beak originally worn by doctors treating the plague, there were also styles called Moretta and Volto. The makers of mask or "Mascherari" had their own status and were loosely associated with artists of their time.
I was intrigued by this mask I found in a window not far from the Academia Bridge and stopped to sketch it in colour with Magic Markers, later painting it at home in oils on canvas.
October 11th, 2012
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