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”Vår verld är en maskerad”: Maskerader, divertissement och rollspel i Sverige 1772-1792
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Art History.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
“Our world is a masquerade” : Masquerades, divertissements and role playing in Sweden 1772-1792 (English)
Abstract [en]

Purpose and aim

The large interest in 18th century studies is wide, a lot thanks to the rich material and amount of documents remaining from the era. One subject, which rarely is described or studied on its own, is the masquerades and costume gatherings. The main aim is to study the masquerade from a point of view where the phenomena can be examined and described in terms of themes, cultural influences, interaction with other cultural expressions and art genres, dresses and fashion, development over time, but also more noticeable and quantitative measures such as where they were held and who participated. 

Method and material

Masquerades and costume gatherings during the late 18th century in Sweden has been approached from several different angles. They are described in terms of dress and mask, role-play and characters, organizer, illumination and decoration, and cultural expression. The material mainly consists of diaries, letters, notifications, descriptions, documents of various kinds, nonfictions and specialist literature in the subject matter, for instance studies regarding the history of theatre, fashion, mythology and European court life in general.

Main results

The frequency of masquerades and gatherings with dress themes were depending on the current situation in the country. During peace, and when the economy allowed, the parties became more lavish, whilst the opposite were the consequence in times of war and misery. The masquerades were inspired by the Venetian carnivals, French court life and European trends among the noble class. Influences can also be found in Commedia dell'Arte, the theatre, opera and ballet. Greek and Roman mythology is often visible in the themes of the events. Rather than to entirely disguise oneself, the aim was to attend to these festivities in fashionable dresses and masks. The mask was thrilling and tempting. Seen in a wider perspective, the masquerades were a mixture of many different cultural expressions. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 118 p.
Keyword [en]
masquerade, divertissement, costume gatherings, carnival, mask, dress, fashion, theatre, opéra comique, opera, ballet, Commedia dell'Arte, mythology, neo classicism, 18th century, role play, visual art, court life, illumination, Gustaf III, Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotta, Claes Julius Ekeblad
Keyword [sv]
maskerad, divertissement, karneval, mask, dräkt, mode, teater, opéra comique, opera, balett, Commedia dell'Arte, mytologi, nyklassicism, 1700-tal, rollspel, visuell konst, hovliv, illumination, Gustaf III, Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotta, Claes Julius Ekeblad
National Category
Humanities Arts Art History
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-211815OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-211815DiVA: diva2:668751
Educational program
Masters in Humanities, Cultural Anthropology
2013-06-04, Ritsalen, Engelska parken, Humanistiskt centrum, Thunbergsvägen 3H, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-02-05 Created: 2013-12-02 Last updated: 2015-02-05Bibliographically approved

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