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Venetian Masks | Vegetable fibres

Keywords: Mask, gem, stones, ribbon, textile

Venetian Masks

Title: Venetian Masks
Category: Vegetable fibres
Country: Venice, Italy
Period: XX Century
Provided by: IDP


Venetian Masks are handmade and made of papier-mache or  gypsum according to the ancient venetian artisan tradition from 1300. As in the past, after resting for at least 24 hours, the masks are decorated with different materials as ribbon, stones and gems. In origin masks were used not only at Carnival parties but also during the rest of the year. They were an effective way to remove all kind of social diversities, so everyone could act without judgment. Over the years wearing masks in Venice has been relegated at Mardi Gras and today it represents a traditional symbol for the city. 
Artisans create masks to wear and as collectibles, the difference between them is in the durability: collector’s masks are more heavy and they are processed to last over time.
In Venice there are shops which still produce handmade traditional masks, some examples are “Atelier Marega” and “Gli Amici di Pierrot”.