General Question

johnny0313x's avatar

What do these masks mean, where do they come from?

Asked by johnny0313x (1840points) July 14th, 2009

I find these masks really interesting, I was wondering if they have a specific name and meaning? Where did they come from?
http://imagehost.vendio.com/a/1137243/aview/P1062593.JPG

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14 Answers

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Venetian commedia dell’arte masks

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

The Victorian masks? That one in particular was probably meant to be phallic.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

There are different characters with different mask meanings. As an art form, commedia dell’arte predates Victorian times, with masks often made of leather. Harlequins are one of the most well-known characters in commedia dell’arte.

The mask shops in Venice are pretty famous.

johnny0313x's avatar

so can someone break that into english for the slow….

johnny0313x's avatar

that link does not work :)

Judi's avatar

It looks like a Venetian mask to me. I bought one for my daughter (who collects masks from all over the world) when I was in Venice.

Judi's avatar

Here’s a link with some history (in easy to understand language.)

PandoraBoxx's avatar

If I remember correctly the one with a long nose is a character called Zanni. I believe this is where the word “Zany” originates.

Judi's avatar

@PandoraBoxx ; That’s what it says in the link I provided above:
Zanni Mask: The origin of Zanni is believed to be a nick-name for Giovanni, a popular given name in Bergamo. Hard times fell on these farmers as cheap imported food flooded Venice taking away their source of income. As a result, Bergamase peasants migrated to Venice working as servants. Commedia dell’Arte provides a parody with characters that live for the day, eating, sleeping, and seldom thinking. Yet Zanni has an uncanny survival instinct. Furled brow and long nose are characteristic of Zanni masks. The longer the nose, the dumber the character.

johnny0313x's avatar

So i’d much rather make the mask(s) for my wall, If I were to make a Zanni mask, are there certain guidelines I should follow or is it mostly left up to your creativity? I mean obvious the beak and somewhat stern/evil look that it had is a given but color and patterns, do they represent anything?

johnny0313x's avatar

http://www.lyonsdesign.info/download.jpg
so i started doing it on a whim lol…heres where I am at so far. I think once I build the features up and smooth it out, add some paint and such ill have a pretty nice mask, what do you think?

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I think it will look great!

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