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Venetian Masquerade Masks

Did you know the use of masquerade masks dates back to 1268, in Venice. Masks were used during the celebration of carnival, the annual celebration of the election of Doge Vitale Michieli? People from Venice also use masks during other festivities such as weddings. Eventually, royalties all across Europe adopted the Venetian tradition of wearing masks. It has become a custom to wear masks in masquerade balls since the 17th and 18th centuries.

Venetians popularize the use of masks to allow commoners to mingle with upper class citizens. Unfortunately, some people also use masks as disguise when they commit immoral acts. Masquerade-style masks are also important in improvisational theaters. These are useful in reflecting emotions including love and jealousy.

Venetians designed masks that mimic various characters and these are used in plays during various celebrations. However, the use of masks stopped after the Austrians had control of the city in the late 1700's. Later on, a group of artists rekindled the popularity of masquerade masks, and they created several other types and designs of masks.