Wide view of Venice: Piazza San Marco - Riva degli Schiavoni


(Peasants Masks)

The "villottes" represent, in Friuli (that was one of the poorest and less considered areas of Veneto during the XVI century) kind of peasant songs, popular, folkloric ballads similar to the "stornelli" so popular in Tuscany.

Melodies to which (thanks to the simple structure) all texts can be adapted.

So here we have two peasants masks, created to be ironical over the way peasants dress (and to make fun of furlans? I would say).

In another reproduction of this same image, there is some text added, that goes like this:

"Sorora mia Thietta, al to Menon
Che sona el sigol canta na Canzon."

"Oh my sister Thietta, to your Menon
Who plays the flute, sing a Song."

Thietta and Menon are names which were maybe very much used in the countryside, at the time, and which can be found in the poetry collection "Le rime «in lingua rustica»" (Rhymes in a rustic language) by Luigi Groto “The blind man of Adria” (1541-1585).

Etching by Francesco Bertelli: "Viloti" - 1642
Francesco Bertelli: "Viloti"
Il Carnevale Italiano Mascherato - etching (1642)

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