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Susanna Pozzoli © Michelangelo Foundation
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Sergio Boldrin

Sergio Boldrin Mask maker
Contact
Italian, English
Hours:
Monday to Saturday 09:00 - 18:00
Phone:
+39 0415223857
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Handcrafting the spirit of Venice

  • • Sergio makes traditional Venetian carnival masks
  • • In 2018 he received the Maestro d'Arte e Mestiere (MAM) prize
  • • The characters of the Italian Commedia dell’Arte inspire his masks

The city of Venice immediately brings to mind its famous carnival, with its 18th-century costumes and elaborate masks, behind which people conceal their identity. Besides dozens of shops selling mass-produced objects that have nothing to do with tradition, there are still a few workshops where masks are crafted by hand. Two of them are run by master Sergio Boldrin, aided by his brother Massimo. One is a tiny studio a stone’s throw away from the celebrated Rialto bridge. This crowded little space is at the same time a laboratory, shop and archive, dotted with photos of the famous people who have donned Boldrin’s masks, including Tom Cruise in the Kubrick movie Eyes Wide Shut.

Read the full interview

Works

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  • © Laila Pozzo for Doppia Firma
Photo: © All rights reserved
Vincent

Vincent van Gogh is immortalized through this painted papier-mâché mask, recognisable not only by the artist’s facial features but also by the brush-stroke finishing of his skin and hair. Through this work, Sergio pays homage to an artist who he has studied extensively.

Length 28 cm
Width 22 cm

Photo: © All rights reserved
Medusa

Medusa, one of the three mythological Gorgons, has been brought to life in this handmade papier-mâché mask. Her face has been painted in green acrylic paint, and gold tints accentuate the venomous snakes writhing in place of her hair.

Length 60 cm
Width 35 cm

Photo: © All rights reserved
Giullare

This is one of a series of jesters, a typically venetian subject, created by Sergio Boldrin. The expression of the jesters face changes throughout the collection. The papier-mâché mask has been gauze painted with acrylic paint.

Length 60 cm
Width 40 cm

Photo: © All rights reserved
Il canto del giullare

This jester, a typically Venetian subject, is one of a series. The expression on the jester’s face changes throughout the series. The papier-mâché mask has been painted with acrylic paint.

Length 60 cm
Width 40 cm

Photo: © Laila Pozzo for Doppia Firma
Medico dell’aria

Eight hand-modelled Venetian papier-mâché masks combine traditional commedia dell’arte characters with a clean-cut contemporary design. The ominous-looking masks were inspired by the 17th-century masks worn by “medici della peste” (plague doctors), while the charcoal smog filters fitted in the nostrils refer to a more modern plague – pollution.

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