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Frammento del dipinto "Il Rinoceronte" di Falca Pietro Longhi 1751 ospitato nel Museo del Settecento Veneziano di Cà Rezzonico.

A face covered with a black mask: the Moretta (The mute mask)

A mask typically of the fairer sex, particularly appreciated by men for its characteristic of not allowing the wearer to speak. What pleased the women, however, was certainly the aura of mystery and the anonymity that it granted.

Masks and faces

A transvestite: the Gnaga or catwoman

Some believe that the name derives from gnau, the sound a cat makes, and it was certainly a disguise that was appreciated by young homosexuals who were forced to hide their sexuality during the rest of the year. However, it must be said that...

Masks and faces
Immagine di fools.

Fools and other madmen

Joker, impertinent and mischievous: these could be the titles attributed to this mask, known for its favorite pastime, the gioco delle ova (the game of eggs). Indeed, those who decided to wear such costume would soil the adorned garments of ladies...

Masks and faces
Porzione della tela "Ciarlatano" di Falca Pietro detto Longhi del 1757 conservato nel Museo del Settecento Veneziano a Cà Rezzonico.

Maintaining anonymity: The Bautte

A typical Venetian disguise, considered the "national mask", which allowed the wearer to remain anonymous. By wearing a larva, the white face, distinctions no longer existed and everything was uniform: men, women, nobles, beggars or the young...

Masks and faces

Pantalon de’ Bisognosi

The typically Venetian mask from the Commedia dell'Arte, played by a singular and elderly merchant with a frank dialectal way of speaking. He is often depicted with a bag of money, called bezzi or palanche in the Venetian language, which highlights...

Masks and faces
Frammento di un Ridotto di Pietro Longhi.

The clever servant of Bergamo: Brighella

Greed and cunning are two of the main characteristics of this character, known for her pandering and profettering attitudes towards the owner of her workplace. Much of her fame is due to her multiple vicissitudes with fellow citizen Arlecchino (...

Masks and faces
Quadro raffigurante alcune della maschere tipiche della commedia dell'arte. Artista anonimo.

The foolish and buffoonish servant: Arlecchino (Harlequin)

Publicly loved for his undisputed congeniality and for being gullible and confident; not surprisingly he is often the victim of scams. Constantly hungry and looking to improve the situation in which he finds himself, his attitudes are awkward and...

Masks and faces
Quadro raffigurante alcune della maschere tipiche della commedia dell'arte. Artista anonimo.

The Know-it-all from Bologna: Doctor Balanzone

A know-it-all character who enchants people with his continuous talk; but soon after listening to him one realizes that his conversation is in reality, all smoke and mirrors. Well fed, plump, full of good humor and empty talk plagued by blunders, he...

Masks and faces

The mischievous servant girl: Colombina

Representing the popular Venice of the time with her humble profession as a servant employed by a noble patrician family. An attractive girl with beautiful features who is self-confident, cunning and sometimes mischievous.

Masks and faces
Porzione dell'affresco "L'altalena di Pulcinella" di Giandomenico Tiepolo realizzato nel 1791 - 1793 e conservato nel Museo del Settecento Veneziano, a Cà Rezzonico.

The Neapolitan mask: Pulcinella

A characteristic mask from Naples that identifies with the radiance and sympathy of Southern Italy, infusing joy with its vivacity and lightheartedness. It is interesting that this jolly, cheerful and slightly deceiving character entered into the...

Masks and faces
Persone mascherate in abito nero e maschera del medico della peste.

The Plague Doctor

Not a carnival costume but rather a symbol of death, used to remember how much pain and suffering the disease brought to Venice. The shape of the curved beak on the white mask quickly brings to mind the beak of a vulture, a bird notoriously...

Masks and faces