Particolare de "L'Incontro", Pietro Longhi, 1746 (Metropolitan Museum, New York)

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A centre for the production of masks since the Middle Age, and home to private collections of this kind of item (evidently prematurely freed from their theatrical functions to become carnivalesque and assume a singular aesthetic value), masks in Venice have acquired a complex set of symbologies and cultural behaviors since the sixteenth century, becoming a fundamental part of the image of the city and a symbol of its recognition (just like the gondola or winged lion). It is therefore worthwhile overcoming the initial repulsion against this subject (due to its overuse in the promotion and pu

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