Venetian costume masks have always been part of the history and culture in Venice. As far back as 1500, Venetian Carnival (known as Mardi Gras to the rest of the world) Venetian masks have set the stage in theater and art. Originally, a Venetian mask (sometimes referred to as Italian mask) were handcrafted in local shops by artists, and no two Venetian masks were exactly the same. Today, handcrafted Venetian costume masks can be found, but are also reproduced in cookie-cutter quantity by manufacturers.
Why Wear a Mask
In Venice, people used to wear fancy dresses and costumes during the carnival period and on several occasions throughout the year. Obviously, the main reason to wear a costume mask is to conceal identity and be unrecognizable. Masks were made in many styles and constructed from several materials. Sometimes, women would wear a black velvet mask to enhance the whiteness of their faces.
The Bauta Mask
A bauta mask of worn by both men and women. A married woman was obligated to wear this mask when going to the theater, but marriage-aged women n95 mask not allowed to wear the Bauta mask.
These Venetian costume masks were constructed from a black veil, but could also be white, dark blue, or scarlet color. It was called a small cloak because it covered the neck and shoulders. The mask had a black three-cornered hat and a white face with an enlarged jutting upper lip under a protruding nose that could actually change the tone of the wearer's voice. The Bauta mask was a favorite of many because they could eat and drink without removing it, which maintained their anonymity.
The Moreta Mask
The Moreta is an oval mask made of black velvet, and used mainly by women. The mask originated in France to be used by women visiting nuns. The mask became popular in Venice because the black color enhanced female facial features and made the skin more attractive. The mask had veils and small hats with large brims. Men named it the 'dumb' costume mask because it was kept in place by biting on a small support attached to the mask which prohibited the wearer from talking.