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

PANTALONE - Pantalon de' Bisognosi

(Pantalone of the Needy) - The real Venetian Mask

We see here the mask of Pantalone, the Venetian merchant: rich, greedy, lustful and naïve.

The name was the one which was given to the rich kids of the nobility in the XVI century, in devotion to San Pantaleone. Venetians has always been very devote population, maybe not 100% without any practical purpose.

Old but athletic, Pantalone plays the ideal counterpart of an Harlequin, always without money, the Zanni, the poor immigrant always hungry, Brighella - the name comes from "briga", fight - and countless other characters.

He's a female hunter - the younger the better - more often with no real results ... and uses his money/power to get all the possible advantages in all situations.
Nothing unusual here.

The Pantalone mask seems to have been born in mid 1500, and almost immediatly the Commedia dell’Arte theatre started using the character, it would fit too well with what their public’s enemy would have to look like.

Maurice Sand: Pantalone - year 1550
etching (18th century)

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