Masquerade Masks – From Past to Present
Did you know that Shakespeare arranged the first meeting of his extremely popular characters, Romeo and Juliet, at a Masquerade Ball?
History suggests that the now world famous Masquerade Masks originated in Venice, Italy during the 15th Century. They were primarily in use by general public before Masquerade Balls came into existence in 16th Century Renaissance. Further theories suggest that the original usage was meant to conceal identity of the wearer as well as to equalize people from higher and lower classes during public events.
Masks in the 16th Century
Masquerade Balls were frenzied events that carried the auras of mystery and charm. The events included elaborate dancing, socializing between various strata of society and of course, the unparalleled masquerade masks for women as well as men. The masks enhanced the liberal nature of these events, as identities could not be determined. People could raise their concerns and indulge in extravaganzas of any nature without worrying about the repercussions. The masks of that time were mainly molded from clay and velvet with an array of decorative like feathers and colored stones (even the occasional precious stones for the richer crowd). The designs were so varied that two of a kind were a rare sight indeed.
The Laws against the Use of Masks
Towards the 18th century, laws were put in place to limit the use of masks on a regular basis. By this time, the masks carried the façade of intrigue, often being referred as dissident. However, their use in theatre was omnipresent throughout the ages as it is even today for certain plays.
Masquerade Masks as Home Décor in Today’s Times
In modern times, Venetian masks for women and men adorn many a collectors homes. They are a part of décor of many contemporary homes, adding a historical aura around them and, of course, enhancing the look as well!
Masquerade Themed Events in the 21st Century
Masquerade themed parties came in vogue as it allowed people to embrace a historical style of hosting as well added the thrill factor. Some weddings have been based on the Masquerade themed that included the use of Venetian masks for women and men. Charity events also have used this theme time and again to help spread their message.
The Venetian Carnival is a prevalent festival dedicated to art and the history of Masquerade. This lively event attempts to encompass the history and past of the earlier centuries. A great number of people visit the ever-romantic city of Venice to get a feel of times that once were. If you get a chance to visit Italy during this time, you will get an incandescent feeling of the past where Masquerade Balls popularized Masquerade masks for women and men.