Painting The Face The Primary Mask
Painting the face has several purposes, chief amongst these being beautification (as in cosmetics), transformation (as in immediately's face painting, also conventional clowns), and preparation for battle (from the earliest history of mankind). Using cosmetics can be traced back to the ancient Assyrians (2000 years BC and more), the Egyptians (Cleopatra being a famous practitioner), and the Romans (the courtroom of Nero significantly requiring make up for both men and women).
Amongst the achievements of the European crusaders was the importing of cosmetics from jap harems back into their residence nations, since when their use has been continuous within the western world - although they haven't all the time been thought of respectable!
On stage a whole range of materials were employed to paint the face earlier than grease-paint got here into use - chalk for a white face (e.g. a ghost), umber to recommend a tanned or weather-beaten face, white lead, gold paint, antimony, kohl, rouge, cochineal, cuttle-fish - and an entire further range of products equally derived from minerals, plants, animals, and insects.
Ladies on stage (although not it appears the Elizabethan boy actor, for whom blushing youth appears to have sufficed for the expression of femininity) may "colour their faces with certain oils, liquors, unguents and waters made to that finish" (Philip Stubbes 1583 - quoted in "the Oxford Companion to the Theatre").
It's attention-grabbing only for a second to contemplate the primary purposes of stage makeup via the ages. In my theatrical lifetime (my first job, as an ASM in a UK Rep was in 1963) makeup has had three purposes, various as priorities in line with circumstances: firstly to focus on key options of the face for an audience seated too far away to understand the subtleties correctly, secondly to provide facial modeling when the lighting is likely to be too shiny and too frontal and tending to flatten the features, and thirdly the long established objective of disguise.
Initially stage makeup was all about disguise. makeup tutorial step by step is to a level, particularly within the lower financed finish of this theatrical spectrum. The higher financed a production is, the extra doubtless an actor will be hired particularly for a task as a result of he most clearly "is" the character. In the nice old days of Rep however one company of actors would play a variety of characters who typically had very little in common with themselves, and that's when makeup as disguise comes into its personal.
Wanting back to the historical starting point for makeup, the ritual dances of primitive tribes, we are able to deduce disguise - as animals, as spirits, as devils.
Beautifying the face on stage came later, probably post Elizabethan theatre, and probably with a view to enhancing the beauty of the actress playing the role. This may nicely have been adopted as a apply by changing the skin tone of younger men required to painting previous men.
The difficulty with beautification of the feminine face is that the more of it that was needed, the much less in a position the actress turned to specific emotion on her face. There are a number of very enthusiastic responses to the occasional actress who left the paint off her face and was, consequently, ready to provide mobility of expression to her acting, and with it a more satisfying portrayal of humanity.
In any analysis in fact, disguise and beautification are both about presenting in public a model of oneself that is not the true picture. There are all types of reasons for doing this, comparable to vanity, dramatic necessity, invoking the help of spirits and/or ancestors, or simply escaping the lengthy arm of the regulation.