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Venice IncognitoMasks in the Serene Republic$
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James Johnson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267718

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267718.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Venetian Incognito

Venetian Incognito

(p.129) CHAPTER 14 Venetian Incognito
Venice Incognito

James H. Johnson

University of California Press

In the eighteenth century, Venice was a prime destination for sovereigns taking their holidays. Drawn by its famous festivities and the lure of the mask, many nobles and participants invented fanciful names, outfitted themselves in tabaròs and baùtas, and headed for the balls, theaters, and boat races. This chapter discusses the Venetian incognito and the incognito Republic. Masks helped Venetians and nobles gain access yet preserve distance. In this case, the distance they preserved was at once deferential and defensive. From the Inquisitors’s perspective, acting incognito, like the “honor” of the escorts, showed all due respect while containing the risk. Incognito dispensed with ceremony, etiquette, and compliments. In Venice, incognito did not signify an identity concealed, rather it signified an identity unavowed and an identity not taken as known.

Keywords:   Venice, nobles, masks, tabaròs and baùtas, Venetian incognito, incognito Republic, incognito

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