The Carnival of Venice (Italian: Carnevale di Venezia) is an annual festival, held in Venice, Italy. Carnival started as a time for celebration and expression throughout the classes, as wearing masks hid any form of identity between social classes.
Venetian masks can be made in leather or with the original glass technique. The original masks were rather simple in design and decoration and often had a symbolic and practical function . Nowadays, most of them are made with the application of gesso and gold leaf and are all hand-painted using natural feathers and gems to decorate.
- Bauta is the whole face, with a stubborn chin line, no mouth, and lots of gilding”.
- The moretta is an oval mask of black velvet that was usually worn by women visiting convents.
- The “Volto” was the more common mask used in Venice for centuries. Volto means “face” to design that is was the most common, simplest mask.
The Carnival starts around two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday.