Recently I wrote something about Venetian Carnival Masks. I found some more pictures in the archive and I think this one is well suited to the challenge. I found one interesting thing about masks.
The oldest surviving document that talks about Venetian masks date back to 1268. New laws came into force from the fourteenth century onwards. Strict legislation began in 1339 when people were barred from walking around the city at night with masks. Wearing masks was not a reserved habit just for Carnival Tuesday; people often hid their identities with them, and under the guise of doing all kinds of inconveniences.
The penalties for violating this law were drastic. The men were punished by two years ‘imprisonment, 18 months’ rowing on Venetian galleys and a further £ 500 fine. The women were beaten on the way from Rialto Bridge to St. Mark’s Square, where they were placed among the pillars and exposed to public ridicule. On top of that, they were barred from entering the territory of the Venetian Republic for a full four years and added payment of 500 lire.
Do you find the penalties too severe?