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


As much as Harlequin and the Zanni, Brighella is from Bergamo too: somebody had some resentment toward the Bergamascos? Who knows.

Brighella has some resemblance in the basic character to the Zanni. But if not smarter, Brighella's arrogance surely pays off as he gets more respect than the Zanni himself.

The name by itself (briga, brigare is Italian for quarrel, trouble, intrigue) explains this mask well enough: Brighella is choleric, violent, exaggerated in his behavior, and a true womanizer.

Catlike and sordid in his quest for food, confirmed liar and persuasive in his love pursuits, always ready for intrigue, always in search for the next fight.

Brighella is a mask used to play different roles, kind of the perfect substitute villain, thus leading to a good deal of variants: Buffet, Flautino, Bagatino, Gandolino, Mezzettino, Fenocchio, Scapino and Beltrame da Milano the most widely known and recognized.

Color illustration by Maurice Sand - Brighella
Maurice Sand: Brighella (year 1570)
engraving with hand coloring

Anonymous Artist: "Brighella"
engraving (1630-1640)
from the Print Collection
of Cassiano dal Pozzo

"Vostra figura in picciol foglio accolta Ponn' ben rittrar miei faticosi Studi,
Ma rittrar non poss'io l'altre virtudi Che la mente é l'orecchio, amira é ascolta"

"Your figure in a small sheet I can well portray with my laborious Etudes
But I can't portray the other virtues Which the mind and the ear, admire and hear"

Copyright by Roberto Delpiano 1997-2023 - visit my website www.delpiano.com