Monochrome photo of a Venetian carnival mask.

From my second visit to Venice I brought home a couple of carnival masks as souvenirs: a Pulcinella-type mask in green and gold for myself; and a full-face Columbina one, profusely decorated with feathers, as a gift for my wife. I’d set out on an aimless walk one morning while she lolled abed at the hotel and it caught my eye from the window of a workshop somewhere in the Dorsoduro district of the city.

For years the latter was part of our decor, displayed hanging on a wall in each of our various abodes. Of the several photos I took of it over that time, the one above is my favourite. Converting the original image to monochrome in Photoshop using a blue filter effect emphasised the faux-craquelure effect on the face and darkened the gold-painted visor and lips to satisfying effect. I still have the mask now, its feathers, alas, all full of dust, adorning a mannequin that stands in my study.