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History of Venetian Masks

Venetian carnival masks

The Italian Venetian masks first made an appearance in 1268 at the annual celebration commemorating the defeat of Ulrich II. Masks continued their popularity as Venice rose to become sort of the Vegas of it's day, with visitors seeking to protect their identity while indulging in some questionable behavior.

In the Renaissance period, these masquerade masks were adopted by the Commedia Dell Arte. They all but disappeared while Venice was under Austro-Hungarian rule, only to be resurrected in the 1970's by artists seeking to profit from the tourist trade. In the Americas, they are popular today for Carnival and Mardi Gras masquerade balls and celebrations.

Venetian masks consist of several recognizable styles, each with it's own name and distinct history. Some of the most popular are:

The Moretta - a black velvet mask covering the whole face, worn by ladies.

The Bauta - a heavily-gilded black or white mask covering the entire face.

The Larva or Volto - a shiny, white mask, often worn with a black cloak and a tricorn hat.

The Columbine - a half-mask, decorated in gold, rhinestones and/or feathers, held up to the face on a stick or tied with a ribbon.

Medico Della Peste or "The Plague Doctor". This mask, with it's long, beak-like nose, originates from a style that was actually used during the bubonic plague. The nose part was stuffed with vinegar-soaked sponges and various salts and disinfectant herbs, in an attempt to protect the wearer from the disease.

For more information about the Carnival of Venice and the traditional Venetian masquerade masks:

History of Carnival in Venice
History of Venetian Carnival

Venetian style and masquerade masks, for Mardi Gras, Carnival / Carnivale or a masquerade ball.
See also Mardi Gras costumes

Silver Venetian Mask

Silver Venetian Mask

$30.00  $19.09

Silver venetian mask with black hat attached. [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask

Venetian Mask

$23.55  $19.82

Made of plastic, flowers and fabric, Gold mask ... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask With Gold Trim

Venetian Mask With Gold Trim

$18.00  $15.06

Very stylish Venetian masquerade style masks fo... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask & Gem

Venetian Mask & Gem

$54.00  $23.21

Very stylish Venetian masquerade style masks fo... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Lace Venetian Mask

Lace Venetian Mask

$18.00  $14.73

Black lace masquerade mask with black braid, je... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask With Pearl

Venetian Mask With Pearl

$37.90  $18.34

Very stylish Venetian masquerade style masks fo... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask Snow Leopard

Venetian Mask Snow Leopard

$49.50  $14.43

Very stylish Venetian masquerade style masks fo... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask

Venetian Mask

$27.90  $17.68

This is a beautiful addition to any Mardi Gras ... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask Striped

Venetian Mask Striped

$16.50  $14.13

Be the hit of the whole Mardi Gras (or any othe... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask With Trim

Venetian Mask With Trim

$53.98  $23.21

Very stylish Venetian masquerade style masks fo... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask

Venetian Mask

$36.93  $19.09

Add a touch of mystery to your next costume wit... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask

Venetian Mask

$36.93  $19.11

Deluxe venetian mask is silver with silver &amp... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Purple Venetian Mask

Purple Venetian Mask

$27.00  $11.19

Our Purple Leaves Venetian Mask features a purp... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Half Mask With Feathers

Venetian Half Mask With Feathers

$11.89

The product includes a venetian half mask with ... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask Points

Venetian Mask Points

$22.50  $16.63

Very stylish Venetian masquerade style masks fo... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask

Venetian Mask

$39.90  $18.61

Brown and black feather half mask with pole to ... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Couple Mask

Venetian Couple Mask

$18.45  $14.03

This lovely half mask is Black with Gold Trim, ... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Couple Mask

Venetian Couple Mask

$23.90  $13.54

You Will Be The Hit Of The Party! Made of plast... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Couple Mask

Venetian Couple Mask

$15.00  $13.54

This pretty Venetian Couple Mask is silver colo... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask

Venetian Mask

$36.00  $16.18

Very stylish Venetian masquerade style masks fo... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Best Ever Venetian Eye Mask with Veil

Best Ever Venetian Eye Mask with Veil

$38.00  $19.00

Mask includes patented flip up headband, allowi... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Showgirl Mask

Venetian Showgirl Mask

$24.38  $16.63

A wonderful venetian showgirl mask that's perfe... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Velvet Feather Mask

Venetian Velvet Feather Mask

$24.00  $17.50

The product features a black velvety masquerade... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Deluxe Venetian Black Cat Mask

Deluxe Venetian Black Cat Mask

$22.50  $15.83

This Deluxe Adult Venetian Black Cat Mask featu... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Mask

Venetian Mask

$33.24  $18.74

Beautiful Venetian half mask with Silver accent... [Read more]

Brand: Forum Novelties

Venetian Raven Black Mask

Venetian Raven Black Mask

$19.90  $14.01

Includes: Mask, One long nose half mask based o... [Read more]

Brand: Fun World

Skull Fang Venetian Mask

Skull Fang Venetian Mask

$12.99

This awesome Venetian Skull Fang Mask is easy t... [Read more]

Brand: Spirit Halloween

Orange Venetian Mask

Orange Venetian Mask

$6.99

\r\n\tRock that classic Halloween color with th... [Read more]

Brand: Spirit Halloween

Blue Feathered Venetian Mask

Blue Feathered Venetian Mask

$12.99

\r\n\tWhether you're royalty or disguised; you'... [Read more]

Brand: Spirit Halloween

Feathered Pink Venetian Mask

Feathered Pink Venetian Mask

$12.99

\r\n\tWhether you're attending a masquerade or ... [Read more]

Brand: Spirit Halloween

Pink and Gold Venetian Mask

Pink and Gold Venetian Mask

$14.99

\r\n\tBe vibrant and vivacious with this perfec... [Read more]

Brand: Spirit Halloween

Fantasy Venetian Mask

Fantasy Venetian Mask

$24.52  $12.26

Includes an adult lace-look fantasy style appli... [Read more]

Brand: Leg Avenue

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