domenica 18 settembre 2016

The Venetian Masks of the "Commedia dell'Arte" COLOMBINA

The Venetian Masks of the "Commedia dell'Arte"


(from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Columbina (in Italian, Colombina, "little dove"; in French, Columbine) is a stock character in the Commedia dell'Arte. She is Harlequin's mistress, a comic servant playing the tricky slave type, and wife of Pierrot. Rudlin and Crick use the Italian spelling Colombina in Commedia dell'arte: A Handbook for Troupes.

She is dressed in a ragged and patched dress, appropriate to a hired servant. Occasionally, under the name Arlecchina she would wear a motley, similar to her counterpart Arlecchino (Harlequin). She was also known to wear heavy makeup around her eyes and carry a tambourine, which she could use to fend off the amorous advances of Pantalone.

She was often the only functional intellect on the stage. Columbina aided her mistress, the innamorata, to gain the affections of her one true love, by manipulating Arlecchino and counter-plotting against Pantalone, while simultaneously managing the whereabouts of the innamorato. She may be a flirtatious and impudent character, indeed a soubrette but without losing her judgment.

In the verismo opera Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo, the head of the troup's wife, Nedda, playing as Colombina, cheats on her husband, Canio, playing as Pagliaccio, both onstage with Arlecchino and offstage with Silvio.

Although Columbina became the dominant name (known as Columbine in France and England), other names under which the same character is played in Commidian performances include: fantesca (maid), servetta (female servant), Franceschina, Smeraldina, Oliva, Nespola, Spinetta Ricciolina, Corallina and Diamantina.

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sabato 17 settembre 2016

Il Medico della Peste -  The Plague Doctor L'Abito e la Maschera

Il Medico della Peste -  The Plague Doctor
L'Abito e la Maschera

L'abito è tradizionalmente associato al personaggio della commedia dell'arte noto come medico della peste e all'omonima maschera carnevalesca veneziana.

(da Wikipedia, l'Enciclopedia Libera)

Secondo il Trattato della Peste del medico ginevrino Jean-Jacques Manget, del 1721, l'abito venne indossato dai medici di Nimega durante la peste del 1636-1637. Inoltre, venne indossato durante le epidemie del 1630-1631 a Venezia e durante la peste del 1656, che uccise 14.500 persone a Roma e 300.000 a Napoli.

L'abito era costituito da una sorta di tonaca nera lunga fino alle caviglie, un paio di guanti, un paio di scarpe, una canna, un cappello a tesa larga e una maschera a forma di becco dove erano contenute essenze aromatiche e paglia, che agiva da filtro.

La popolazione, tuttavia, non amava tale abbigliamento, accostandolo all'idea della morte.

L'uso dell'abito del medico della peste cadde in disuso nel corso del XVIII secolo.

Lo scopo della maschera era di tener lontani i cattivi odori, all'epoca ritenuti, secondo la dottrina miasmatico-umorale, causa scatenante delle epidemie, preservando chi l'indossava dai contagi.

Come accessorio, inoltre, esisteva una speciale canna, che i medici utilizzavano per esaminare i pazienti senza toccarli, per tenere lontane le persone e per togliere i vestiti agli appestati.

La maschera era una sorta di respiratore: aveva due aperture per gli occhi, coperte da lenti di vetro, due buchi per il naso e un grande becco ricurvo, all'interno del quale erano contenute diverse sostanze profumate (fiori secchi, lavanda, timo, mirra, ambra, foglie di menta, canfora, chiodi di garofano, aglio e, quasi sempre, spugne imbevute di aceto).
L'uso di rudimentali maschere protettive è attestato a partire dal XIV secolo quando i medici, durante le epidemie, iniziarono a indossare particolari maschere a forma di becco, tenute ferme alla nuca da due lacci.

L'idea di un indumento completo fu proposta nel 1619 da Charles de Lorme, medico di Luigi XIII, prendendo come spunto le armature dei soldati.

Oltre alla maschera a forma di becco, già esistente, Lorme ideò una veste idrorepellente in tela cerata lunga fino ai piedi, comprensiva di guanti, scarpe e cappello a tesa larga.

L'abito è tradizionalmente associato al personaggio della commedia dell'arte noto come medico della peste e all'omonima maschera carnevalesca veneziana.
(da Wikipedia, l'Enciclopedia Libera)

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The plague doctor - Il Medico della Peste

The Costume - The Mask

(from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The plague doctor's costume was the clothing worn by a plague doctor to protect him from airborne diseases. The costume, originating in the 17th century, consisted of an ankle length overcoat and a bird-like beak mask often filled with sweet or strong smelling substances (commonly lavender), along with gloves, boots, a brim hat, and an outer over-clothing garment.

The mask had glass openings for the eyes and a curved beak shaped like that of a bird. Straps held the beak in front of the doctor's nose. The mask had two small nose holes and was a type of respirator which contained aromatic items. The beak could hold dried flowers (including roses and carnations), herbs (including mint), spices, camphor, or a vinegar sponge.

The purpose of the mask was to keep away bad smells, which were thought to be the principal cause of the disease in the miasma theory of infection, before it was disproved by germ theory.Doctors believed the herbs would counter the "evil" smells of the plague and prevent them from becoming infected.

The beak doctor costume worn by plague doctors had a wide-brimmed leather hat to indicate their profession. They used wooden canes to point out areas needing attention and to examine patients without touching them. The canes were also used to keep people away, to remove clothing from plague victims without having to touch them, and to take a patient's pulse.

Medical historians have attributed the invention of the "beak doctor" costume to Charles de Lorme, who adopted in 1619 the idea of a full head-to-toe protective garment, modeled after a soldier's armour. This consisted of a bird-like mask with spectacles, and a long leather (Moroccan or Levantine) or waxed-canvas gown which was from the neck to the ankle. The over-clothing garment, as well as leggings, gloves, boots, and a hat, were made of waxed leather. The garment was impregnated with similar fragrant items as the beak mask. The costume may have older roots as some authors have described fourteenth-century plague doctors as wearing bird-like masks.

Lorme wrote that the mask had a "nose half a foot long, shaped like a beak, filled with perfume with only two holes, one on each side near the nostrils, but that can suffice to breathe and to carry along with the air one breathes the impression of the drugs enclosed further along in the beak".
The Genevese physician Jean-Jacques Manget, in his 1721 work Treatise on the Plague written just after the Great Plague of Marseille, describes the costume worn by plague doctors at Nijmegen in 1636-1637. The costume forms the frontispiece of Manget's 1721 work. The plague doctors of Nijmegen also wore beaked masks. Their robes, leggings, hats, and gloves were made of morocco leather.

This costume was also worn by plague doctors during the Plague of 1656, which killed 145,000 people in Rome and 300,000 in Naples. The costume terrified people because it was a sign of imminent death. Plague doctors wore these protective costumes in accordance with their agreements when they attended their plague patients.

The costume is also associated with a commedia dell'arte character called Il Medico della Peste (the Plague Doctor), who wears a distinctive plague doctor's mask. The Venetian mask was normally white, consisting of a hollow beak and round eye-holes covered with clear glass, and is one of the distinctive masks worn during the Carnival of Venice.
from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

domenica 28 agosto 2016

The Venetian Carnival Mask par excellence: The BAUTA

The Venetian  Carnival Masks


The Bauta is the "noble" or "national" mask of the Serene Republica: the Venetian Costume par excellence.

Nobody can actually say what its origins were as a costume, but the use of the threecornered hat would make us think that they can not be all that remote. Opinions vary on the origin of the name of the mask. It's possible that the name Bauta come from the German Behuten meaning "protect, preserve or defend"

This mask-costume protects the privacy and identity of the wearer and was a great levellers of every difference: Men, women, the highest in the land and the lowest of the law, the most depraved and the foreign royalty, all, at least once in a while, could put themselves on the same level.

The mask's beak-like chin is designed to enable the wearer to talk, eat, and drink without having to remove it, thereby preserving the wearer's anonymity. The bauta was often accompanied by a red or black cape and a tricorn.

The mask is available on line in different colours:


La Cartapesta Shop on Line ART. 18 

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venerdì 26 agosto 2016

Le Maschere del Carnevale Veneziano. LA BAUTA

Le Maschere del Carnevale Veneziano


La maschera della BAUTA sin dal 1600 era indossata a Venezia sia da uomini che da donne di qualsiasi ceto sociale.

E' stata una delle maschere veneziane di maggior successo, soprattutto tra il XVII e il XVIII secolo, preferita alle altre sia per la sua comoda portabilità che per la tolleranza ad essa riservata.

Anche quando altre maschere erano infatti vietate,  in occasione ad esempio delle festività di San Marco e dell'elezione del Doge e dei Procuratori, la BAUTA poteva essere utilizzata, garantendo discrezionalità ed eleganza a chiunque la portasse, di qualunque sesso o classe sociale fosse.

La maschera veniva utilizzata unitamente ad un tabarro, da porre sulle spalle, e da un tricorno da mettere sul capo. Le differenze del costume in chi lo indossava non erano tanto i colori, tranne le eventuali diverse sfumature della maschera (che poteva essere di cartapesta, di velluto o di seta), ma la qualità dei tessuti usati, che potevano essere anche particolarmente pregiati.

La BAUTA, chiamata anche genericamente LARVA (dal latino "maschera") era molto comoda da usare: la forma a becco della sua parte inferiore consentiva infatti di mangiare e bere senza bisogno di togliersela e non rendeva riconoscibile, modificandola,  la voce di chi la indossava.

La maschera è disponibile ora on line, con diverse tonalità di colori:

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La Cartapesta Shop on Line ART. 2

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La Cartapesta Shop on Line ART. 4

La Cartapesta Shop on Line ART. 5

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