What to Wear When Trying to Be Someone Else: A Guide to Bal Masqué Masks

The night of October 4th won’t just hold a bal. SRQ |The Magazine went one step further and decided the night of October 4th would be a perfect time for a Bal Masqué.

So what does one wear when anonymity is the goal? The obvious first choice is picking out a mask to match the character you are trying to be. In the traditional Venetian Carnevale/Bal Masqué world, there are seven different styles of mask, all representing a different personality. Detailed below is a guide with each mask and its characteristics.



Characteristics: Square jawline, large chin and no mouth. Usually either white or very ornate. Large chin allows the person wearing mask to still be able to eat and drink.

Historic Fact: Those making political decisions in Venice used to wear these masks to ensure anonymity.



Characteristics: Half-mask that covers wearer’s eyes, cheeks and sometimes nose. Heavily decorated and can be colorful.

Historic Fact: Named after a maidservant in the Commedia dell’arte and is the female counterpart to the bauta.

Medico della Peste


Characteristics: Long hollow beak, round eyes (sometimes with wire glasses), white face.

Historic Fact: Mask was worn by plague doctors to prevent disease.



Characteristics: Full mask that depicts lips, nose and chin. Can be for men or women. Usually have ornate designs.

Historical Fact: Used by those who wanted complete anonymity.



Characteristics: Large hooknose that resembles a beak. Slanted eyes.

Historical Fact: Mask originated from a classic character in Italian theater who had a witty and intelligent personality.



Characteristics: Joker-like and colorful with a short nose and arched brows. Sometimes includes a large headpiece and/or collar.

Historical Fact: Derived from a character in the Commedia dell’arte who is devoid of reason and often serves the more intelligent character, Pantalone.



Characteristics: Long nose, bulging eyebrows and a low forehead.

Historical Fact: The low forehead and long nose shows how stupid the character is.


We look forward to seeing all of the fun masks at Bal Masque!

Tickets are on sale now at WWW.SRQBALMASQUE.COM


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