Venetian Incognito

James H. Johnson

in Venice Incognito

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267718
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948624 | DOI:
Venetian Incognito

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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

Chapter.  4984 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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