Photographer's Note

The masks produced in Venice are known throughout the world. Carnival masks are the hallmark of il Carnevale di Venezia.

Venice's Carnival began in the 11th Century, and the wearing of masks and costumes was well established by 1436. Masks were allowed from the day of Santo Stefano, which marked the start of the Venetian carnival, to midnight of Shrove Tuesday which marked the end. (Naturally, they were forbidden on days of religious festivals).

The mask had many uses - to protect gamblers from giving away indiscrete looks, (especially to avoid their creditors), or it was used by "barnaboti" noblemen begging on street corners.

Some of the masks we see walking around in Venice streets are the typical, more famous masks that lived through centuries in the fantasy and tradition of the Carnival of Venice.

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Additional Photos by Patryk Moriak (patriik) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 10 N: 360] (1935)
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