Grand Canal Shoppes
Venetian Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada

Masks

The first Venetian masks appeared during the 14th century: people would wear paper mache masks with long noses in order to make fun of the Aristocracy. That was the beginning of the Comedia dell' Arte ("Comedy of the Art"): actors would appear on stages in the streets of Venice, as characters such as Pulcinella, Arlecchino, Pantalone, etc...

A couple of centuries later, it was the turn of the Aristocracy to wear paper mache masks at night during private parties they would have in secret places.

Today, the tradition of mask making is carried on thanks to artists who take pride in respecting the different techniques used by their ancestors, such as using paper mache, Swarovski crystals, copper "decoupage", etc...