[[posterous-content:pid___0]]by Jean Claude Jeannin
by Pietro Longhi
by Gabriel Picart
by Richard J Bagguley
by Frank Kovalchek
The creators of the following images are unknown to me. If you know add comments and I will credit.
Venetian masks are a centuries-old tradition of Venice, Italy. The masks are typically worn during the Carnevale (Carnival of Venice), but have been used on many other occasions in the past, usually as a device for hiding the wearer's identity and social status.
The mask would permit the wearer to act more freely in cases where he or she wanted to interact with other members of the society outside the bounds of identity and everyday convention. It was useful for a variety of purposes, some of them illicit or criminal, others just personal, such as romantic encounters.
from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venetian_masks