A mask is an artefact normally worn on the face, typically for protection, concealment, performance, or amusement. A Venetian mask is a decorative mask that is typically made by using papier mâché. There are different shapes and sizes; one resembling a cat, one a plague doctor, and another is simply a half mask, etc. Going back as far as the Medieval period and the Renaissance, the people of the Venice participated in 10-day festival called Carnevale. During this festival people of all different classes participated in the festival in which the main focus is to wear a mask that would disguise them. Wearing these masks allowed them to participate in activities that their daily lives would not normally allow. A mask-maker of these creations were called mascherari.
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Decorative Characteristics of Venetian Masks
- Elongated checker pattern called a Harlequin pattern
- Bright red, pursed lips
- bold and rich colours
- decorative papers
- intricate gold details
- lavish feathers
The 4 Humours
The 4 Humours is a theory of the make-up and workings of the human body adopted by many philosophers. This philosophy that goes back as early as the Ancient Greek period and essentially says that the human body was filled with four basic substances called the 4 humours. These four substances are considered to be related to the four temperaments and four personalities. They are also closely related to the four Elements and four seasons.
|Sanguine||arrogant, cranky, indulgent, and confident, day dreamer, off task, impulsive, unpredictable||Blood||Spring
|Choleric||Doer, leader, ambitious, energetic, passionate, dominating, military leaders, political leaders, angered, bad-tempered||Yellow Bile||Summer
|Melancholy||Thoughtful, kind, considerate, highly creative, over-preoccupation with the tragedies cruelties of the world, perfectionist.||Black Bile||Autumn
|Phlegmatic||self-content, kind, shy, lazy, resistance to change, consistent, relaxed, rational, curious, and observant, reliable, compassionate, dependable||Phlegm||Winter
Types of Masks
Jolly: A stunning, full-faced Venetian masquerade mask with points made of highly decorative document paper. Finished with pearls and bells. Also available in Red, Blue and Black marbled paper.
Bauta: An extremely popular traditional carnival mask in the original Venetian style. Finished in decorative paper, this mask is a true work of art and will make an impact at any Masquerade ball or masked Venetian event.
Nose: The long beak of this mask was made to keep substances which it was believed would protect the doctor from being infected by the plague.
Columbine: A very pretty traditional face mask with ribbon ties. Available in blue only – finished with gold glitter and decorative trims.
Gatto: Gatto or “The Cat”, a lovely tie on Venetian face mask in the ever popular “Harlequin” finish.
Volto: A beautiful, full-faced, traditional carnival mask with ribbon ties. Painted in red and gold and featuring music manuscript paper detail.