The origin of the Carnival mask is said to stem from the harsh class system that formerly existed across Italy and Europe. The idea was that on one day a year, Carnival day, class would cease to exist. Instead, citizens would wear masks and all be equal, even if just for 24 hours.
Today, the masks, which are painstakingly created by specialist artisans all year round, are true works of art, spanning thematically from the beautiful to the terrifying.
Here are some of this year’s best of the best Venetian Carnival masks, costumes, hairstyles and overall looks snapped by our photographer on the ground.