Carnival MASKS made in Venice.
This picture, of a shop window full of MASKS, is an invitation to get transported into the compact universe of a world of CARNIVAL.
Carnival is in some form celebrated for almost 1000 years in Venice and had its peak in the 18th century, when Venice was the playground of the European high society.
The inspiration for the design of MASKS is traditionally drawn from the “Comedia dell Arte”, which is an early form of theater, characterized by MASKED « types » of protagonists. Every character has his attributed MASK which makes him for everyone recognizable on stage. Eventually these characters with their particular MASKS were also used during Carnival. These characters represent certain qualities and weaknesses, character types. People chose after their linkings their representative character, the one as which they want to hide behind the MASK.
Some other MASKS in Carnival are phantasy creations and others again are traditional, regional MASKS. One of these and probably the most familiar to us, is the figure of Dottore Pest, Doctor Plaque.
This MASK was a historical disguise and protection for a doctor when he moved through the city to visit the sick during plaque times . The MASK covers the whole face and has a long beak. Inside the beak were herbs and spices to purify the air and protect the doctor from the smell of the surroundings. At the same time the ingredients were supposed to protect him from getting infected with the virus.
If you read until here ...
Isn't it interesting to look on the term MASK and the use for protection from a virus in our days of 2020?