Best Venetian Masks for Masquerade Parties

Top Venetian Masks to Wear at a Masquerade Ball

Venetian masks are a very long tradition in the history of the Veneto Region’s capital. They are traditionally worn for the duration of the Venice Carnival. However, one could see people wearing them on many other occasions. A good example of these masks is for masquerading one’s identity or sometimes keeping one’s social status secret.

In the past centuries, the elite social class was bound to certain obligations. Venetian masks helped those wearing them to behave in a freer manner as their identity was disguised. These were (and still are nowadays) made from paper mache and then decorated with fur, leather, glitter, fabric gems and ribbons.

There are different types of Venetian masks that can be characterized from their design and their bright colors. They can be full–face or half-face. These masks can be worn on different occasions such as Halloween, masquerade balls and even on costume parties.

The Bauta Mask

Full face costume accessory

Known as “full mask”; it covers the whole face. Both men and women can wear the Bauta mask as it gives a mysterious look and can be worn at a Venetian masquerade ball.

Fun tip: for fun Mardi Gras crafts, get a blank mask. Make a search on the Web for authentic Venezia Carnavale ideas. Decorate your bauta in the way you want using the original ones as a base.

Eyes Wide Shut Pirate ‘Casanova’ MasqueradeVenice Buys – Venetian Masks BlankRedSkyTrader Mens Full Faced Masquerade Mask

Colombina Mask from the Commedia Dell’Arte

The eye mask

Colombina also known as Columbine, is a half-face mask. The Colombina mask is worn by women. Looking at its history, we learn that it has been popularized by an actress who performed at the Commedia dell’Arte. She was known for her beautiful face but did not wish to cover it fully.

Classic Traditional Gold Venetian MasqueradeSimple Feminine Masquerade Mask – GoldRed Masquerade Masks for WomenMen’s Blue and Gold Venetian CarnivalBlack and White Male Masquerade MaskBronze Masquerade Mask for Men

Medico Della Peste Mask

The long nosed plague doctor accessory

Used by scientists as a protection against the plague, these masks are also highly popular in Venetian masquerades. These are known to be the most recognizable type of Venetian mask and they come with a long beak.

Authentic Plague Doctor Mask – HandmadeClassic Black Venetian Long-Nose MasqueradeOrnate Zanni Mask Long Nose Purple

Moretta Mask for Women Only

Aka mute mask

Is known to bring out the feminine beauty popular in Venice and has not been worn since 1760. The moretta mask is rounded, although very small it is conceived to cover the face and comes with only two holes for the eyes. Its general color is black. It is set in place with a device that its wearer is supposed to keep in her mouth. For this reason, the person is unable to speak and the item is also known as “mute mask”.

Moretta, Venetian Mask by Giovanni Grevembroch, Italy


Moretta, Venetian Mask by Giovanni Grevembroch, Italy – Buy This at Allposters.com

How Does a Moretta Look in Reality

Check out this stunning costume accessory

As you will be able to see in this video, the moretta doesn’t allow its wearer to talk. This is the reason why it is known as the “mute mask”.

Volto or Larva Mask from Venice

Similar to the Bauta

Typically Venetian and mainly white light and comfortable to wear ideal for socializing, and is similar to the bauta. Both men and women can wear the Volto (larva).

Nicole Kidman ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ MasqueradeFull Face Gold Masquerade MaskPHENIX DAN Venetian Blue Women’s FullTom Cruise Silver Eyes Wide ShutVenetian Mask Purple Gold Musical MardiPierrot French Mime Mask With Tear

Jester Venetian Mask

Jolly joker add-on

Can be recognized by the name of the mask coming from the word jolly. It is a typical six floppy pointed type mask and looking at brings out laughter. It is available in half-face, full-face and even with collar.

Snow Queen Jolly Mask For WomenF61022 Floral Venetian Jester MaskWomen’s Full Face Jester Mask VenetianJolly Jester Fancy Silver Mardi GrasVenetian Red Joker Jester Full Face

Dama Venetian Mask

Carnavale scenery embellished costume accessory

Is a very elegant and expensive and most typical of the Venetian Masquerade Ball. The mask covers the whole face. The part that covers the hair features a painted Venetian Carnival scene. Such an accessory can cost up to $500!

You can see a sample of a Dama mask here –>

A word of caution. When buying authentic masks produced in Venice, make sure they come with a tag of authenticity.

Also some suppliers do not have any kind of knowledge regarding those costume accessories. This leds them to miscategorize them. I’ve seen jolly joker masks named volto or dama. Always make sure you buy the RIGHT one.

A last thing: most of these items are made out of papier mache. A resin or plastic mask is not authentic.

 

Conclusion

Venetian masks are known to be the best to be worn for costume and Carnavale parties. Amongst the Venetian masks, the Larva and Colombina are the two known to be the most popular. Have fun!

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2 Comments

  1. Gypzeerose

    I found these Venetian masks amazing. I had no idea they had such a rich history and would make such wonderful Halloween masks as well.

  2. Masquerade Ball’s have always intrigued me. The fun and secrecy of it all. Most of the masks are beautiful, some are thought provoking. Interesting article, learnt a few things.

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Meet The Author

Holly Day

Holly Day is fond of holidays and special celebrations. Holly Day turns any day into a holiday through gift ideas, parties, costumes, crafts, recipes and more she loves to share with the world. By the way, she has a "thing" for strawberries, you know, these luscious red heart shaped fruits.

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