Carnival


The female figure in a long dress in the Empire style, with a mask completely covering her face, looks so natural in her disguise that she seems to be one with the constructed image. The finely-rendered elegant fluidity of the figure’s contour mitigates any rigidity of the contrapposto, and the curves of the folds echo the arabesque tracery of the mask. An enthralling smoothness of the rhythms sets the currents of meaning in convoluted motion similar to wandering in a labyrinth, an undertaking both entertaining and hopeless. The element of mystery inherent in carnival is conveyed through the very language of forms and further elaborated and explicated in recognizable details. To add intrigue, the sculptor sometimes interrupts the smooth stream of lines with wedges such as an angular elbow, a bent knee, a tapered top of the mask, the pointed tips of the shoes, and finally, the triangular base of the statue. These delicately-crafted plastic highlights, fragile and engaging, convey the adventurous spirit of what is going on behind the facade of the carnival, as personified by the artist in the gentle and mysterious appearance of a woman.

 

Brief annotations to the image

The VENETIAN CARNIVAL is an annual fancy-dress holiday. Its basic attributes are the costumes  and masks, costumes which were used to hide which were used to hide reckless, courageous and, sometimes, unseemly acts. Traditional Venetian masks had both practical and attribute-symbolic value, and were made  of a leather or a papier-mâché.