The Carnivale di Venezia was held from February 11 to 28 in 2017. Signe and I took a photography workshop built around the Carnivale di Venezia from Jim Zuckerman. There were twelve participants from Canada, California, Oregon, Virginia, and Illinois. The workshop lasted from February 18 to the 22nd.
We were up early every morning to photograph the models, beginning in St. Marks Square on February 18. Called “the drawing room of Europe,” the Piazza of St. Marks Square was long the symbolic heart of Venice. There is a lot to see in St. Marks Square including the Basilica San Marco, the Doge’s Palace, the bell tower, the clock tower, the Correr Museum, and more. We just focused on getting photographs of the models.
The Carnivale di Venezia occurs every year. When the Carnivale di Venezia kicks off, Venice comes alive with hoards of masked party goers dancing, posing for photographs and celebrating merrily.
The show stealer of the Carnivale di Venezia is undoubtedly the trademark masks. Masks here are really overwhelming both in their size and visual appeal. You can spot almost every type of mask imaginable – leather masks, Venetian glass masks and porcelain masks covered in gold leaf, hand painted and decorated with natural feathers and gems.
The models at the Carnivale di Venezia are volunteers. Most are from Germany or France, although we met models from Oregon and Japan. The pictures below were taken on the 1st day of the workshop early in the morning (e.g., at 6 am). I found out later that the lens I used that morning needs to go into the shop for repairs; it cannot focus clearly.
Many of these pictures were taken around the Doge’s Palace. The Palazzo Ducale, or Doge’s Palace, was the seat of the government of Venice for centuries. As well as being the home of the Doge (the elected ruler of Venice) it was the venue for its law courts, its civil administration and bureaucracy and — until its relocation across the Bridge of Sighs — the city jail. First raised in the ninth century, the Palazzo Ducale was rebuilt many times thereafter, and it was with the construction of the Sala del Maggior Consiglio in 1340 that the present building really took shape. Work continued until 1420, largely under the guidance of architect and sculptor Filippo Calendario.
Many of the models have been coming to the Carnivale di Venezia from a number of years.