40 Portraits in Disguise: Carnival of Venice in Creative Mask Design

in Art + Design


The city of Venice is back again to celebrate its time-honored spectacular Carnevale. Carnival or also known as mardi gras is a fun filled moments of dazzling costume party parades and masquerade balls concluding on Shrove Tuesday of February 21, 2012. The term carnival originates from Latin that means “Farewell, meat!” wherein people are required to fast, throughout the period until Ash Wednesday.

This year 2012 Venice Carnival theme is La vita e teatro! Tutti in maschera or “Life is a theater. It’s time to get masked.” describing Venice as truly the capital of European theatre. The exceptional event celebration will continue for two colorful weeks. Let’s watch the video below.

If you would like to celebrate an important event or simply want to travel to Venice with your event or portrait photography, these types of special event can be unequalled! Venice Carnival formally opened last February 11 accompanied by a huge celebration in Saint Mark’s Square. Then a costumed figure arrives the following day via a rope from the bell tower, traditionally known as the Flight of Angel. A giant group kiss ends the event at midnight in Saint Mark’s Square along with a stunning fireworks showcase across the Venetian lagoon. You may grab the Program Event in PDF form or check out their Official Website for more details.


Venetian masks are traditionally made from papier-mache and sometimes made of leather. Wearing a mask was designed to keep people somewhat anonymous with their lavish costumes. It made it possible for the lower classes of Italian society to get close and rub shoulders with the upper classes.


Venice Carnival Mask Types

  1. Bauta is a mask which covers the whole face, this was a traditional piece of art, with a stubborn chin line, no mouth, and lots of gilding.
  2. Columbina is a half mask often highly decorated with gold, silver, crystals and feathers.
  3. Medico Della Peste or the Plague Doctor with its long beak is one of the most bizarre and recognizable of the Venetian masks.
  4. Moretta brought out the beauty of feminine features such as the female head, body and mind.
  5. Volto or Larva mainly white mask and is worn with a tricorn and cloak.


Everyone performs a lot of role-playing throughout his life wherein the Venice Carnival amazingly sum it up with its creative mask design. Here are 40 stunning colorful portrait photography of masked people in dazzling costumes taken during the Carnival season. It was a huge tourist attraction irregardless if you’re a Christian or not.

01-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-001. Photo via HogsvilleBrit

02-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-562. Photo via Nemodus photos

03-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-883. Photo via Daniele Franceschini

“Disguise your face.
Don’t disguise your soul.”

04-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-544. Photo via Yen Baet

05-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-495. Photo via Photo-555.com

06-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-736. Photo via Alberto Grego Photography

07-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-087. Photo via Snicph

08-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-658. Photo via Nemodus photos

09-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-429. Photo via David Pin

“Leave behind just for one day, negativity, rage, anxiety, fear, prejudice.”

10-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-6310. Photo via Treflexion

11-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-7011. Photo via Nemodus photos

12-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-7412. Photo via Terencetai

13-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-9613. Photo via Samuel Chinellato

14-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-4114. Photo via David Pin

15-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-4415. Photo via David Pin

“Take off your daily mask and create a new character!”

16-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-9016. Photo via Giancarlob

17-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-5917. Photo via TwoZeroWest

18-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-3918. Photo via MaxCere

19-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-7219. Photo via Nemodus photos

20-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-8220. Photo via f_a_z_e_r

“Venice Carnival is a free port where
you can be whoever you want.”

21. Photo via Nemodus photos

22-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-1122. Photo via Flemmens

23-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-6923. Photo via Nemodus photos

24-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-6424. Photo via Nemodus photos

25-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-7125. Photo via Ramsesoriginal

Life is theatre! It’s time to get masked.

26-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-8626. Photo via Francesco Santo

27-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-9327. Photo via Sergio Pavan

28-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-4828. Photo via Shadow13777

29-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-4729. Photo via David Pin

“Let off steam. Join the party and free your real character!”

30-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-8530. Photo via Ronnyreportage

31-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-9131. Photo via Anja_johnson

32-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-6632. Photo via Nemodus photos

33-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-9433. Photo via David Pin

34-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-4534. Photo via David Pin

35-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-9835. Photo via TwoZeroWest

“Wear a mask to live the true spirit of the Venice Carnival!”

36-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-7736. Photo via Nicola Del Mutolo

37-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-6237. Photo via Blueroom66

38-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-6738. Photo via Nemodus photos

39-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-8439. Photo via Ronnyreportage

40-portraits-in-disguise-carnival-of-venice-in-creative-mask-designs-8340. Photo via Tiziano Rinaldo

Further Readings You Might Be Interested

1. 30 Surreal Photo Manipulation: Beyond Portrait Design
2. 35 Magical Photography And Illustration Of Cirque du Soleil Posters
3. World’s Largest Chocolate Event: Parade of Dresses in Chocolate
4. Festival Of Colors: 50 Artistic Body Art Paintings
5. Lead Image by PaoloBis via Flickr