Thursday, February 6, 2014

More Savoyard with Marmots and Hand Organs

Savoyard with Marmot, painted by Jean-Antione Watteau, in 1715-1716 now in the Hermitage Collection.  The marmot is sitting on the box and the savoyard boy is carrying what is described as a flageolet, an oboe-like instrument.  Looks like in some of the depictions of these itinerant musicians the box is a hand organ and sometimes they play other instruments and the box is for the marmot.

Here's a later print from a mid-19th century fancy dress plate.  The female savoyard is holding a hurdy-gurdy.  Notice that a distingishing feature of her costume is a cap that ties under the chin and an apron.

Also while rummaging around on the internet to see where one even acquires a hurdy gurdy these days I found this undocumented history of the street organ, and a fascinating TED talk by Caroline Phillips, "Hurdy-Gurdy for Beginners"

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bauta mask for Bal di Carnivale

Another post about my preparations for GBACG's Bal di Carnivale on February 8th in San Jose.  Tickets still available!

The Bauta is one of the oldest Venetian mask styles. Although worn mostly by men, it was allowed to be worn by all citizens. Paintings by Pietro Longhi, such as The Ridotto, painted in the 1750s, show both men and women wearing the Bauta.
The Ridotto by Pietro Longhi, 1750s Venice

The Bauta is worn with a short cape an a tricorn hat. Hal sculpted his simplified leather Bauta at the GBACG leather mask workshop.  It is made of vegetable tanned leather that is dampened and then sculpted by hand. When the leather dries it retains to sculpted shape.

The paintings by Pietro Longhi provide a number of details for the hood construction. They appear to be of two pieces, one an opaque hood over the face and head down the neck, and then a longer lace drape to about the elbows.

To come up with a pattern I draped muslin over my willing victim and then added the mask and tricorne.  I then used a felt time marker to draw where I thought the cutting lines should be.  The bauta specifically doesn't cover the mouth to allow a person to speak and eat unimpeded.

The first cut was way too large

Some subsequent strips made the opening much smaller.  The too large hole gaped open in an oval rather than retaining a rectangular shape.
And some pictures of the final garment.  The hood is made of a light weight black silk taffeta and the drape is synthetic lace.