Category Archives: Venetian masks
Carnival, Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday; whatever you choose to call it, the last day before the start of Lent, the 40 days of repentance is famous to bring out the wild side of millions of people all over the world. In fact, in many countries, locals are known to spend over a month taking to the streets, parading, donning Venetian masks, and partying late into the wee hours of the morning.
Venice, Rio and New Orleans are just some of the many popular destinations in the world that tempt you to put your masks for masquerade balls and have some sinful fun!
• Mardi Gras – New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Thousands of tourists and locals are able to have ball of a time in New Orleans, when the city is known to loosen is reins a little and douse itself with limitless strings of beads, festive costumes and eye catching floats. The city is known to host some of the most spectacular parades starting 2 weeks prior to Mardi Gras.
• Carnival of Binche – Binche, Beglium
In Binche, it is considered to be great honor for a man to be selected to join the Gilles on Shrove Tuesday each year. Gilles are essential clown like performances who wear plumed hats, wax masks and colorful costumes. They are known to start dancing around the city during the wee hours of the morning and continue doing so late into the night.
• Trinidad and Tobago Carnival
This region comes with a rich and vibrant history with French roots. The Carnival is considered to be one of the most important celebrations of the year. The Monday and Tuesday right before Ash Wednesday is the time when thousands of locals flock the streets to show off their elaborate costumes that may have taken months to finish. Complete with traditional Venetian masks and a range of events such as a competition for the title of ‘the Band of the Year’ and the ‘Calypso Monarch’, visiting this Caribbean treasure during Carnival is a experience worth having.
• Carnival of Brazil – Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil
There is absolutely no Carnival celebration in the world that can compete with the atmosphere that is created in Rio de Jeneiro during the festivals. Brazilians are known to takes their weeks before Lent extremely seriously. This means that you get a chance to witness some of the largest and most elaborate parades. Just 2 years ago, it was estimated that 5 million people attended the Carnival in Brazil. For some high-octane partying, Rio de Jeneiro is the place to be.
• Mardi Gras – Sydney, Australia
A rather underrated Carnival destination, the city makes the most of this festival to support the LGBT community. The evening parade down Oxford and Flinders streets are worth watching. You must also make time to attend the drag races on Bondi Beach, the sunset cruise and the harbor-side dance party.
Other unlikely contenders but equally exciting Carnival destinations include the Notting Hill Carnival, London; the Quebec Winter Carnival, Quebec City and the Carnival celebrations in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Venetian Masks have long been used as an elegant display item in households around the world.
If you have your own collection of these masks, but are yet to display it, this article will help you gain a creative perspective for your home décor.
Read on to find new ideas on where the masks can be displayed and how the look of your home can be enhanced with these beauties.
On Your Patio
Especially suited for an outdoorsy look is Moon Venetian Masks. Hang them over a seating area or even place them on a center table for an exotic teatime look. They go well with not only wooden backgrounds but even in a grassy area.
On a Bare Wall in your Living Room/Den
What better way of doing it than putting up Venetian masks on a bare wall or den? If you feel more adventurous, you can experiment with long flowing fabrics like velvet and brocade which can adorn the mask as drapes. All you need to do is drill some holes for the mask and fabric to give the mysterious aura of times that once were. This gives an enchanting effect and a unique new look to your existing wall.
Remember that the mask needs to be the center of attention and the fabrics and colors you choose should not overpower it.
On A Wooden Chest
When you look at a wooden chest or treasure chest, you instantly think of royalty. If you have a chest at home or plan to procure one for a prominent corner of your house, Moon venetian masks make a great addition to portray a historical feel and add charm to your room.
How to Display them?
Once you have identified a place for your masks, make sure the way in which you display them is also appealing.
- Consider tying the back of your mask into a bow with the help of an elegant ribbon. Use this to hang your mask from a hook or on a nail on a wall in your home.
- You can also get your mask placed in an exquisite shadowbox that is made out of a wooden frame and a clear glass. You can find these in various sizes in any framing or crafting store.
- A very creative way to display your elegant mask is by placing it on the head of a mannequin. If you own a fashion boutique or furniture store of your own, this is a great way to draw attention to various sections of yur store.
Masks should be displayed in a place from which it can be appreciated. Remember, you need to pick a place that will compliment the mask as well as enhance the area that displays it.
In use since the early 12th century, Venetian masks were the people’s answer to the rigid class structure that existed in Europe; a way for lovers to unite, for partners to be promiscuous, for homosexuals to unite in a societal structure that equalled them with demons and women to dress boldly.
In a wealthy Venice where money flowed free like the water through its canals, pleasures of life were easier to come by than freedom and this included the freedom of thought and its expression. The mask also came to be used to strike secret business deals and to carry out spy work. With Venetians ‘masking’ their lives completely, it came to be worn every day becoming their “anonymous chat ID”, if you will.
The modern reference to such masks in the famous film Eyes Wide Shut was, thus, not wary off the mark when Tom Cruise infiltrates a masquerade ball where men of influence were engaging in ‘sexcapades’. While the Venetian mask featuring in the film made them a sudden rage the world over, putting the spot light on the almost forgotten art, the news of their use was no more novel than love itself.
Early mentions of the Venetian masks reinforce mischievous uses it was put to. The Venetian Law itself mentions masked men throwing scented eggs at ladies during the carnival, an act which was prohibited by law.
The antics of the Venetians carried on until the 1100s when the Church banned its use on holy days in hope that this would check people’s immoral behaviour. The ban restricted the masks’ use to a small period starting December 26. Over time, this further got cut down to a week-long period, when Venetians indulged in the run up to Lent, called Carnevale.
Though intending to curtail debauchery, the ban gave birth to one of the most intriguing festivals, “The Carnival of Venice”, where art is celebrating in a week-long orgy of master craftsmanship.
The modern times may have led mask makers to create experimental masks in keeping with changing tastes. Popular traditional disguises in early Venice included the fisherman with a rod, demon, butcher, doctor, sailor and even a dancing bear. However, one of the most popular and beautiful was the moon Venetian masks.
In both Pagan and in Christian semiotics, the moon has been representative of the female form and the sun of the masculine, other than in Germany where it is the opposite. The moon also symbolizes the lovers seeking to hide in the lunar shadows. Thus, it stands as a favourite among the young.
These moon masks and the sun masks, both full-face and half are the most ornamental and delicately carved of all.
Traditionally made of paper mache, clay, porcelain and glass, the Venetian masks are today made of every conceivable material. On a stick or full-face, simply white or flambouyant gold and feathery; master craftsman can chisel something for everyone to unleash the masquerader within.
Masquerade parties are becoming an increasingly popular theme with people of all ages. Whether you are celebrating a wedding, a graduation, a housewarming or you simply wish to bring the splendor of Mardi Gras to your party, this theme is an appealing one.
A major element that is synonymous to masquerade parties are the exquisite masks that adorn the faces of your guests. The next time you are hosting or being invited to carnival themed party, make sure you have got your look like.
With a myriad of different styles to choose from, from full face feather masks to those in various colors that only cover your eyes, selecting one that complements your outfit and facial structure is important.
The Most Popular Option
If this is your first masquerade party and you aren’t sure what mask suits you best, it is ideal to opt for a white masquerade mask. This style is the most popular among both men and women primarily because of its versatility.
What Makes White Versatile?
White as a color matches with almost every other shade. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a new gown or new mask, investing in a classic white one helps you get rid of the headache of matching the vivid colors of your outfit with your accessory. The color white elegantly complements any dress you may be donning at the event.
The color white is evidently a very pristine and beautiful one, making your mask a perfect accessory to make a statement with. Notice how your dress or tuxedo begins to glow by simply adding a white masquerade mask to complete your look. Using white in the right style of mask is a great way to leave a lasting impression on the other guests of the party.
The color white in your mask can look absolutely stunning if you plan on having a masquerade wedding. Adorned with ostrich or coque feathers, the bride will be able to emit a larger than life, extravagant and eye-catching appeal while walking down the aisle. Your bridal white mask can also complement the black tuxedo your groom dons on your wedding day.
Finding the perfect masquerade mask for your wedding or annual gala needn’t be a daunting task. Considering the popularity of the color white, most vendors provide a wide selection in styles and patterns. Make sure you select one that allows you to bring in the perfect levels of elegance and sophistication into your ensemble.
If you plan on complementing your bridal gown with this mask, do not consider it a one-time wear. These elegant pieces make for great wall hangings; an excellent way to maintain a piece of memory from that special day.
Summer is finally here— Let the party begin! Whoa, and let us not forget the most looked forward to occasion of the season—Fourth of July!
So you have got a big masquerade bash in the offing and you want to look classy and stylish at the same time? A brilliant idea is to match your elegant outfit with the right kind of Venetian mask to complement your attire that will help you look like a million bucks.
Trends for Women
- Long Slits: This elegant style is reminiscent of Hollywood kind of glamour
Mask to pick: Columbina Monica Gold/White
- Leather: Not just the jackets, we are seeing the entire dresses, skirts and shorts made out of leather
Mask to pick: Malazia Black mask
- Neon: This trend is seen largely in accessories
Mask to pick: Elfe with Plume Stick Red
- Streaks: Big, bold stripes (mostly black and white) appearing on dresses, gowns, shirts, trousers.
Mask to pick: Colombina Black/White
- Shades of Blue: The mint and electric blue are perfect for a fresh summer look.
Mask to match: Colombina Crackle Blue Stucco
- Flowery Prints: This carried over trend from spring can be seen on dresses, t-shirts and skirts.
Mask to pick: Colorosa Chiocciola
Trends for Men
- Style Tailoring: Suits this season are simply brilliant. Trend includes summery suits with a bold print or pattern with a metallic finish
Mask to pick: Bauta Silver Macrame
- Stripes: Be it suits or shirts, statement stripes are one of the foremost trends for summer 2013.
Mask to pick: Columbina Stucco Brown/Gold Music
- Pinky Pink: No longer considered as girly color, is flaunted with ease.
Mask to pick: Full Face cut out
- Shades of Blue: Every shade of blue does the trick of enhancing the glam quotient
Mask to pick: Columbina White 1 / 2 Macrame
Here are a few tips on how to select the right kind of Venetian mask for you that will blend perfectly well with the latest trends in vogue.
- Select your outfit. We know it is a tedious job but then you have to do it in order to select a mask in a timely manner
- Find a reputable seller of authentic masks. All you need is an authentic Handmade Venetian mask that should not only make you look beautiful but should also be long lasting
- Skim through the different styles of masks available bearing in mind the following:
• Event type: Is it Casual, formal or theme based
• Dress Type: Short or long, Color
- Pick the mask that suits your personality the most. Go in for a mask that will keep you at ease and self-assured all night.
So wear the right mask and gear up for a trendy, mysterious and glamorous party!
Intriguing and beautiful, Venetian masks can hide your identity while alluring and interesting viewers. They are used all over the world at masquerade balls, Halloween parties, prom events, May balls and other celebrations to introduce a fun element. A wide array of masks can be seen on the streets of Venice during the annual carnival. There are innumerable types which can range from the demure plain white eye masks to the more flamboyant, colorful and elaborately decorated ones.
Venetian masks come in a variety of colours and in various shapes and sizes to suit individual tastes. They can be made of acrylic, leather, porcelain, leather and hordes of other materials. Originally, they served symbolic or practical purposes and were quite simply designed. Nowadays, they aredecorated with gems, feathers, silver and gold metallic sheets, beads and lots more. Often designer masks are hand-painted to give a unique appearance. In effect, as far as planning artistic masks is concerned, the sky is the limit.
You could go in for handmade Venetian masks created with plaster and paper mache using techniques that vary with individual makers. Some mask styles are inspired by nature while others make use of animal prints. Masks made using eco-friendly materials are appreciated by collectors who like to know that their purchases help save planet Earth. Natural materials like corals, sea shells, leaves, flowers and rootsto name a few, help the creations come alive. Some clients instruct makers to use special themes while creating handmade masks. You can even get masks colour-customized to match your costume or outfit.
Velvet Venetian Masks are quite popular and probably the most fanciful ones. Because velvet is a soft and luxurious fabric, it is suitable for all skin types. Since these masks are gentle and comfortable to use, they are a big hit with the ladies.
Masks made of velvet often include traditional Venetian mask styles along with some unique features which give them a striking appearance. An eye mask made of velvet with animal prints or plain black velvet decorated with sequins, feathers and beadscan make a great accessory for a Halloween fancy dress costume.When feathers are added to a velvet mask, you can be sure to get a really royal look.
“Moretta” is a traditional Venetian mask made from velvet. In ancient times, this mask was worn throughout the year by the women of Venice. This oval mask made from black velvet is often worn by women when they visit convents. It is said to bring out the true beauty of feminine features. A veil is added to lend an air of quiet mystery to the wearer.
You can do lots more with your mask than simply wearing it and keeping it safe in a box for the next Halloween party. Hang it on your wall for an artistic ambience ormake a pretty decoration by standing it on a table and putting a candle behind it. Maybe your friends will love a pretty mask as a gift too!
Venice is a popular tourist destination because of its picturesque canals, the famous Carnival and its amazing Italian culture. No carnival is complete without vibrant and colorful Venetian masks. These come in unlimited shapes, sizes and textures to suit every requirement.
Some masks are specially made keeping women in mind. Venetian masks for women generally have a more delicate appearance and are often made of metal filigree and lace. Some other specialised masks for women are Eye Masks, Nose & Phantom Masks, Stick Masks and Feather Masks.
The bauta is a mask which is a traditional weird piece of artwork characterized by a prominent nose, a chin jutting out and no mouth. The chin is like a beak and the wearer can speak, drink and eat through it. The bauta is often worn with a black or red cape and a three cornered hat. Usually males wear the bauta, but many paintings from the 18th century also display women wearing this mask coupled with a tricorn hat.
The Columbina, also known as a Columbino is a half-mask, which covers only the wearer’s upper cheeks, eyes and nose. It is a modern creation for women and is very often decorated with crystals, gold, silver and feathers. It is held in front of the face by a baton or can be tied with ribbons like most other Venetian masks. The Columbina mask is named after a stock character Columbina, a maidservant who was part of Italian theatre for generations. It has been said that this mask was specially designed for a beautiful actress who did not want to cover her face completely. While both women and men now use this mask, it began as a woman’s answer to the bauta.
The participants at a masquerade ball attend wearing various types of costumes. Masquerade masks are used during these balls to conceal the identity of the wearers. Wearing a mask often indicates you do not even know who you are dancing with, and the ball is almost a game of “guess who” where people try to figure out the identities of others. Often suitors attempt to steal a kiss from a lady who has caught their eye. Masquerade masks are generally made out of paper mache, but in the olden days, animal hides like pig skins were used.
Masquerade masks for women come in all colors and styles. Women generally prefer to select a mask of a color which matches the dress they plan to wear. Styles include feathered masks, masks with handles, masks with animal prints and more. Women like to ensure they get the appropriate mask that fits their mood and dress style. Other Venetian masks for women include those with ostrich feathers, elaborately painted ones, glittered masks as well as simpler unadorned papier mache or Vinyl masks.
Events that use Venice as the theme often use masks as sale items and decoration pieces. You can use Venetian masks at parties to organize a colorful Italian experience for your guests.
Venetian masks have been traditionally used in Venice for many years. They were mainly worn during the Carnival of Venice, though now they’re used on many other occasions too. These could range from fun parties to romantic purposes where identities need to be kept a secret. Sometimes masks are used by elements wishing to remain anonymous in their private activities.
These masks can be made of porcelain, leather, acrylic and many other materials. Originally, they were designed quite simply without too many decorations. Most often, they served some practical or symbolic function. Nowadays, a large number of masks are hand-painted and natural feathers and gems are used for adornment. Some are created using leaves of fine golden sheets. In fact, the sky is the limit as far as decorations are concerned.
Venetian masks come in various shapes, sizes and in a variety of colours to suit individual preferences. Some can be perched daintily on your head so as to cover only a part of your face so as to offer just a suggestion of suspense. Others can cover your entire head including the back of your head as well as your complete face keeping your identity completely incognito.
These masks are classical ones that you will relate to instantly. They have been used in the theatrical arts to represent both tragic and comic characters. These masks leave a lot to a viewer’s imagination and allow complete anonymity. They allow the wearer to act in a free manner, especially in cases where he wishes to interact with members of society who are outside bounds as per everyday conventions.
Full face masks are quite comfortable when worn and are often used at Halloween parties. If the wearer wishes to appear a bit shady, he can couple the mask with a three cornered hat. The addition of a dark cloak can add an aura of mystery and make the attire complete.
There are various names given to the categories of full face masks. Some of them are “Larva” meaning “Ghost””, “Volto” meaning “Face” and the most well-known is the “Pierrot” which indicates a simple-minded and honest servant.
Full face masks are often decorated with different types of jewels and fabrics decorated with silver or gold strings. The inclusion of colourful silk ribbons to hold them in place adds to their attraction. You can choose from a variety of designs and colour schemes. Masks can be enamel-covered, glossy black with white, silver or gold trimmings made of silver or gold macramé, the list is endless… You’ll be spellbound by full-faced feather masks having bright feathers of all colours of the rainbow surrounding the mask face. Some masks offer a ferocious facade with bright red, maroon or tan tiger masks.
For those who do not like wearing something heavy, there’s an option of going in for lightweight masks made using the ancient technique of papier-mâché. Layers of paper and plaster result is a lightweight base that contours the wearer’s face and soft velvet lining provides comfort on the inner side.
In addition to being worn for fun purposes, masks are often used as exquisite ornaments and wall adornments. So if you want to gift a friend with something, unique, you now have a new option!