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


(The Insensitive Man)

This is not really a mask, but was going on during Carnival time, in Venice.

The guy goes around the St. Mark's Square, with no mask, without saying a word, refusing offers of money and tobacco, pretending he is a fool, and he can't feel anything
(insensato = no sensitivity)

Flour on his face to make it scarier, walking slowly, he doesn't respond to any insult, totally abstracted from any stimulus that comes from the crowd.

A fool, but he's faking it, of course.

The guy's name - the first one to come out with this gig - was Baldasare Pastori, and none other has been so good in imitating his "insensitive behavior".

What the man holds in his hand is a Flag Fan.

Flag fans had been in fashion for a long time, until the XVIII century, mainly used by women, but not only.

In the XVIII century these fans were sort of substituted by Folding Fans, the same in use nowadays.

Anyway it sure is a weird item for a man to carry taking a stroll in the cold Venice streets during Carnival ...

Watercolor by Giovanni Grevembroch: "Uomo Insensato" 18th century
Giovanni Grevembroch: "Uomo Insensato" (Insensitive Man)
pen, ink & watercolor (18th century)
Museo Correr, Venezia

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