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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

The Houses of Savoy and Bourbon (Matrimonio all'italiana) 薩沃伊與波旁王朝

Updated: Jan 14

Some street side portraits during the Venice Carnevale.

The costumes represent Turin and Caserta.

Turin - Royal Savoy

The House of Savoy (Italian: Casa Savoia) was a royal dynasty that was established in 1003 in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, the family grew in power from ruling a small Alpine county north-west of Italy to absolute rule of the Kingdom of Sicily from 1713 to 1720, when they were handed the island of Sardinia, over which they would exercise direct rule from then onward.

Through its junior branch of Savoy-Carignano, the House of Savoy led the Italian unification in 1860 and ruled the Kingdom of Italy until 1946; they also briefly ruled the Kingdom of Spain in the 19th century. The Savoyard kings of Italy were Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I, Victor Emmanuel III, and Umberto II. The last monarch reigned for a few weeks before being deposed following the institutional referendum of 1946, after which the Italian Republic was proclaimed.

Caserta - The Royal Palace of Caserta / Royal Bourbon

The Royal Palace of Caserta is a former royal residence in Caserta, southern Italy, constructed by the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies as their main residence as kings of Naples. It is the largest palace erected in Europe during the 18th century.

Together, they represent the Savoy and the Bourbons, the two ruling houses before the unification of Italy.

These are my local Italian friends celebrating the Venice Carnevale. The festival is a big affair for them, they dress up in their favourite costumes and walk the streets to meet up with friends. For local Italians, they prefer historical costumes and painted faces as opposed to full masks. The full masked ones are usually from neigbouring Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

After coming to Venice every year and staying up to a month each time, I get to know quite a few of the locals. It's great fun making photographs for them. After photographing them, I try to read up a bit on the history of their costumes and this helps me quite a bit when I am processing the photos. It may take me days to research on a particular costume, reading up and having a discussion with the models on their outfit and another few hours or days to do each picture.

The costumes are by Angelo Poretti and named "Matrimonio all'italiana"

Allegoria barocca, dipinta e ricamata.

"Wedding the Italian style"

Baroque allegory, painted and embroidered.

Historical costumes at the Venice Carnevale - they are indeed a big reflection of history and social change and very powerful things.

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