Wide view of Venice: Piazza San Marco - Riva degli Schiavoni

BAUTTA - Bauta mask and the Moretta mask for Ladies

The Traditional Venetian masks for Carnival and fun

TOP - a classic Bauta mask and a Moretta mask
BOTTOM - Francesco Maggiotto: "Three half-figures from a Venetian Carnival" - etching & engraving (1760-1800)

Venice has always been a quite crammed city, everyone knew (and talked about) everybody else, freedom was ... Carnival and a Bauta mask.

The Bauta was also a way of hiding the owner's identity, and had a big advantage: you could keep it on all the time, eat and drink with it, and you would take it out only behind closed doors . Really convenient.

Men and women would wear it, although usually women preferred to wear a Moretta mask, more feminine and elegant.

The text underneath the engraving is from Horace's poem "The Folly of Love; or An Essay Upon Satyr Against Woman".

"Motus doceri gaudet Ionicus
Matura Virgo et fingitur artubus
Iam nunca et incestos amores
De tenero meditatur ungui."

"A grown up girl delights
to be taught Ionian dancing,
and is moulded in its techniques,
now already she also dreams
of illicit love from her tender fingernail."
- Horace -

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