Uberto Bonetti was a prominent figure for the city of Viareggio and is incredibly well-known among the locals, so much so that almost every year there is no shortage of artists that dedicate at least one float to his memory (the artist died in 1993) . He is little known in the rest of Italy but was an excellent painter and also one of the most successful Italian screenwriters of the time.
He is the creator of the official mask of the Viareggio Carnival, which has become a true symbol of the city, the Burlamacco, a mask that presents itself as a sort of “summary” of all the most famous figures of the Carnival, from Pierrot to Balanzone.
The Creator of the Burlamacco
Uberto Bonetti is one of those Italian painters of whom we hear very little. His works (although some are very famous and have met with great success) are not well known either in Italy or overseas, but his story is a story made of successes and, above all, of some works that have left a mark even in today’s history. The painter was in fact from Viareggio, and as such he felt the Carnival party so much that he devoted a mask to it, which has become the symbol of the Viareggio Carnival.
Uberto Bonetti: his life
Uberto Bonetti was born and died in Viareggio and lived between 1909 and 1993. Apart from being an excellent painter, he was also a draftsman and one of the major Italian set designers of the time. His current was futuristic, thanks also to the encouragement given him by one of the creators of the Futurist manifesto, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, whom Bonetti met in his hometown, the beloved Viareggio. Among the best known works of the painter we can consider two in particular.
In fact, considering that he was very active, Bonetti is famous above all for the “Italian aero views”, or for a very wide range of aeropainting works depicting various Italian cities, such as Florence, Rome, Cagliari, Bolzano and so on, realized between 1932 and 1940; and the Burlamacco mask, the absolute symbol of the Viareggio Carnival but also of the Carnival in Italy itself, since it has conquered young and old from every city in Italy.
Uberto Bonetti conceived the mask of Burlamacco in 1930. The mask is proposed as a mix of the most famous masks of Comedy art. In it there is a reference to the greatest figures of the Carnival of all time: from Arlecchino to Rugantino, passing through to Balanzone. The mask has a white and red diamond dress, a long black cloak, a white ruff and a nice Pierrot-style shirt. The story of Burlamacco comes from the sea, accompanied by a delightful fairy-tale girl named Ondina (another typical figure of Viareggio).
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