Monday, June 14, 2010


Honestly, I forget who is dueling whom in this scene. I think one is the mean husband and the other, the nice guy our heroine ends up marrying. The duelers are both wearing Bauta masks, but have removed the outer clothing and hats, to have more freedom to move. I placed them in one of those small squares that you find throughout Venice. Little alleys lead off in all directions and you can get very lost quickly. A crowd of party goers stand around watching the entertainment. Dueling was illegal, but with everyone masked,  they could get away with it.
On my wanderings in Venice I had the feeling of ghosts around me in those quieter areas, especially at night. History isn't dead there but lives on and there is a sinister undertone to the city and its history. Rivalries, hidden intrigues, plots and murders abounded amongst the debauchery of Venetian society. Ms. Laker really caught that feeling in her story. Of note is the black Bauta at the left, with the lower part fringed with black lace. It's a very disconcerting look, at the least! It's always disturbing to talk with a person wearing a mask. The seem to take on a strange power that an ordinary face wouldn't have. Perhaps because it defeats our ability to read that face.
Please leave your comments!


Eleni Konstantine said...

James, the atmosphere of this work just jumps of the page - and the masks definitely have a very disturbing effect.

James Griffin said...

Hi Eleni, I don't know if you celebrate anything like Halloween or Carnivale in Australia, but have you ever worn a mask out amongst people. At a party, or something like that? It gives you a ticklish sense of getting away with something, being someone else, perhaps. Even makeup, without the mask can give you that feeling. I remember going to a party dressed as a pirate, face painted. No one recognized me and I got very interesting responses from people. Different than what I get from my usual face!
Thanks for you comment!