The most important festival of the year for the city of Venice is coming: the Carnival. Let’s find out more about the history of the masks of the Commedia dell’arte: Balanzone.
Balanzone is the latest mask, it comes into view at the end of the XVI Century. It comes from Bologna and the name derives from the dialectal term balanza, which means scale, the symbol of the justice.
The name has an ironic value: he is called doctor, but the truth is that the character is just a caricature of the intellectual. The mask belongs with the Vecchi (“old men”) of the Commedia dell’arte, it represents the bourgeois caste of the know-it-all professors and in fact it was born in Bologna, the Italian city that hosts the most ancient university of Europe.
In fact the costume follows the typical clothes of the university professor: in addition to the common jacket and coat, he wears a black robe, white cuffs and collar and a possible big hat. The mask itself is quite curious and contained compared to others: it is black with red traits, it covers only the eyebrows and the nose and it ends with two big moustaches. The character has an impressive appearance, a bouncy belly and red and full cheeks. During the Carnival we are waiting for you in our restaurant.
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Photo credit: Pixabay