Masks Venetian Plague Doctor Origins
The tradition of Venetian masks dates back to the time of the Middle Ages, their original purpose was to hide the identity of the person. A special case is rather the Mask "Plague Doctor" which was designed and built by a French doctor.
The Plague Doctor mask does not come as a disguise, carnival, although how this is used almost since he was born, and not even born as a mask of comedy.
The name itself indicates that the mask was designed in the historic period in which the plague appeared in Europe. The study and design of the Plague Doctor mask was made by a French doctor "Charles de Lormar" in 1500 and was a uniform that the doctors were required to wear during the plagues.
Composed of long black tunic, boots, gloves, cap and hat all waxed and waterproof, is completed by the typical white mask with a long beak, in which are placed medicinal herbs and spices that were thought proteggessero after infection, with eyes protected by lenses, and a long stick, with which doctors deviated bandages and linens from the sick, who would never have touched.
To revive the atmosphere of terror experienced in the years of plague is an excerpt of the letter written by Alvise Zen, "plague doctor", to Monsieur d'Audreville few years after the epidemic that decimated the population of Venice.
"Ah, my dear friend, even the wars and famines offered a show so bleak. The Republic suffered a series of measures to stem the epidemic were appointed delegates to check the cleanliness of the houses, prohibit the sale of dangerous food, closed public places, even churches. Inmates were recruited as "pizzegamorti" or undertakers. We could move freely only us doctors. nurses and grave diggers had to wear distinctive signs visible from a distance, and we wore a long robe closed, gloves, boots and there coprivamo the face with a mask and a long hooked nose and glasses that gave us a terrible aspect.
Got up the clothes of the sick with a long stick and the tumors were working with a scalpel as long poles. Men and women were taken ill on the island of Lazzaretto Vecchio, and the people who had been in contact with plague victims were instead transferred to the Lazzaretto Nuovo for more than twenty days as a precaution. On a ship had been erected a gallows to execute violators of ordinances and hygienic food.
The plague that tore the bodies were covered with "fignoli, pustules, fidgets" and gave off a foul odor. The rich were dying as the poor. Want to know how many Venetians went to the Almighty? Eighty thousand, think in seventeen months, twelve thousand in November 1630 in a single day, 9, were five hundred ninety-five."
by: David Puppulin