Mask making and mask festivals are among the oldest and most honoured Italian traditions associated with the ancient rites of Carnevale or Mardi Gras, the festival that preceded Lent, and with the Italian theatre. More than 100,000 people flock to Italy each February to celebrate Carnivale in the weeks preceding Lent.
For a delightful look into
the past, see the 1992 film production of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About
Nothing," starring Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, and a colourful masked
ball with typical masks of the period, set in a beautiful Tuscan villa in 17th.
MASKS. In addition to
masquerades and annual Carnivale, masks today are used by theatre companies and
schools of drama, to demonstrate how the mask can help performers to develop a
character. When wearing the Neutral mask, (without any facial expression), the
actor must use the rest of his body to define the character he is playing.
There is magic in a
The mask decoration ranges
from real gold and silver leaf, mixed gold and silver, bronze effect, antique
gold, antique white; etching or drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, or Michelangelo,
to painting of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Hogarth, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Bosch
and other classical painters. Masks of the Commedia dell'Arte and other
historical characters are available in all the finishes above, including the
traditional Fantasy design in black, red, and gold.
Masks come in many sizes,
from small face masks to full size head masks and hand-held 'stick' masks.
Sections of Michelangelo's famous statue Davide, the world famous landmark in
Florence, is available in many oversize sculptural wall decorations and a range
of regular sizes.
Masks make wonderful
gifts! Especially for the person
who is hard to please or likes the unusual - great gifts for weddings, house
warmings, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, Halloween, Valentine's Day and
Christmas...or start your own collection!