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

Ventuole (Flag Fans) - Folding Fans

A classic Venice Fashion accessory

Giacomo Franco: "Habiti delle donne venetiane intagliate in rame nuouamente" (Dresses of Venetian Women again engraved in copper) - engraving (before 1610)"

Uses / advantages of a fan in Venice:

  • Refreshes the air
  • Sends the insects away
  • Helps revive the fire in the fireplace
  • Protects from bad smells ?
  • Hides the expressions of the ladies faces (men tended to use a mask)
  • Used also to start a love dialogue ...

The fan trend started in Venice in the XIII century, as a  flag fan, had a strong diffusion in the XV century, and it became almost necessary in the XVI century.

Mostly for women, of course, refinement and distinction is part of its charm.

In mid XVI century the folding fan comes in fashion giving more versatility to the subjects proposed: Classical Mythology, Homeric Epic, Ovidio’s Methamorphosis, Old and New Testament, History, Political events … and, as it can be easily imagined, more futile subjects: the life of the rich and beautiful, the Game of Love, beautiful Burano laces or reproductions of famous paintings.

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