In 1930, Uberto Bonetti (1909-1993) invented Burlamacco, the Viareggio Carnival mascot, after working on a modern reinterpretation of classic Commedia dell’Arte characters for a project in the late 1920s. The following year, his clownish, futuristic creature held hands with Ondina, symbol of Viareggio’s carefree summers, in a cheerful advertisement poster.
A famous designer, painter, and commercial artist, Bonetti was born in Versilia’s famous seaside resort and had an emotional attachment – as well as a professional connection – to the traditional parade of floats and masks that had started in 1873.
Despite a successful career in fashion and avant-garde art – especially with Futurist aerial painting –, and his works as cinema set architect and caricaturist… his hometown’s annual festival was always important to him.
Here is a selection of his Carnival advertisement posters.