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18 March 2021, 07:04

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Veer-plie “Reception at the Venetian Doge”. 1850-1860s. Italy. State Museum-Estate “Ostankino”

Visitors will be able to see authentic Venetian household items from the 18th century. Among them are carnival masks, clothes of nobles, Murano glass, as well as a book written by Giacomo Casanova. It will be possible to get to the exhibition “Under the Mask of Venice” from April 27 to August 29.

It will be possible to look into the boudoir of a secular lady, visit a gambling establishment of the 18th century and see how Giacomo Casanova hid his face at the exhibition “Under the Mask of Venice”. It will take place from April 27 to August 29 at the Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve. The exposition will occupy nine halls of the Khlebny Dom. The exhibition is dedicated to Venice of the 18th century – the culture, carnival and life of the city’s inhabitants on the water.

All rooms will be decorated with decorations reminiscent of the architecture of Venice. To visit the exhibition, you must purchase a ticket.

“The Venetian Settecento, or the 18th century, was the last century of the existence of an independent city-state. The Venetian Republic was deprived of its former influence and pursued a cautious policy, staying away from conflicts with powerful states. This allowed her to maintain independence for several decades. And these were decades full of luxury, freedom, entertainment and carnivals. In fact, the carnival made Venice the center of cultural tourism in the 18th century. We invite visitors to look at the city on the water through the eyes of an 18th century traveler, ”said the press service of the Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve.

Visitors to the exhibition will see authentic Venetian household items from the collections of the Doge’s Palace, the Correr and Ca Rezzonico museums (18th century Venice Museum), the Museum of Glass on Murano Island, the Carlo Goldoni House Museum and the Mocenigo Palazzo (Center for the Study of the History of Textiles and Costumes).

Walking through the halls, guests can see carnival masks. Among them is a mask called “larva” made of plaster, gauze and papier-mâché. Its peculiarity is that it covers three quarters of the face from above, and protrudes strongly forward in the chin area. In shape, this part resembles a beak. This design of the mask distorted the voice of its owner or owner – it became booming and even ominous. Larv could not be filmed while eating, which guaranteed complete anonymity to her owner. She was wearing a city dweller’s fancy dress, which also consisted of a cloak (tabarro), cocked hat, silk or lace hood (zendale). He covered the part of the head that was not covered by the mask. It is interesting that such a costume could be worn not only on the days of the carnival, but also on St. Mark’s Day, on the feast of the Ascension, as well as during the election of the doge (the title of the elected head of the Venetian Republic). Other masks could not be worn on these days. By the way, the larva was often worn by the famous Italian adventurer, writer and traveler Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798).

A separate room will be dedicated to gambling. Venice was the only city in Europe where they were allowed. Visitors will learn that the tradition of gambling houses originated in Venice. The first such establishment in Europe started operating in 1638 in the left wing of the Church of San Moise (and was closed 100 years later). It became the prototype of the European casinos that were opened later. Among the exhibits that will be presented at the exhibition are playing cards, sets and boards for board games.

On the tablets installed in the hall, guests themselves can play the most popular card game in the 18th century, shtos, its other name is Pharaoh. By the way, Empress Catherine II was very fond of playing it.

Visitors will also see the sculpture depicting the lion of St. Mark, also called the winged lion. He is the symbol of the Evangelist Mark, the patron saint of Venice. The guests will see the figure of a stern and majestic lion, carved out of wood and covered with gold. He is armed with a sword and rests on an open book, in which you can read Pax tibi, Marce, evangelista meus, that is, “Peace be with you, Mark, my evangelist.” Visitors will learn that in the 18th century, winged lions in Venice were carved from stone and wood, cast in bronze and covered with gilding, depicted in frescoes, paintings and signboards. They were everywhere: on the streets of the city, and on Venetian ships.

One of the rooms will be devoted to the theme of imprisonment in Venetian prisons or monasteries. Visitors will see the book “The Story of My Escape from the Prisons of the Venetian Republic, Which are Nicknamed Piombi”, written by Giacomo Casanova. It was published in Germany, in Leipzig, in 1788.

The exhibition will also feature paintings by the artist Pietro Longhi (1702–1785) and his workshop. They talk about the daily life of the Venetians – visits to a hairdresser, visits to a monastery and a gambling establishment.

Also among the exhibits you can see clothes of noble townspeople, vases, decanters and bottles made of Murano glass, portraits of Doges and Dogares (Doges’ wives) and even the iron nose of a 17th century gondola. A series of engravings dedicated to the visit of the Count and Countess of the North to Venice will also be presented. It was under these names that Paul I went on a trip to Europe with his wife Maria Fedorovna.

In order to get to the exhibition “Under the mask of Venice”, you need to purchase a ticket on the website Museum-reserve “Tsaritsyno”… It gives the right to visit all expositions of the Bread House and the Grand Palace. There, on the site, there is information about free excursions to the exposition “Under the mask of Venice” and sign up for them. Only holders of an admission ticket can enter the educational tours of the exhibition.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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