The plague doctor


The dress refers to the costume once used by all doctors to protect themselves from the epidemic experienced in Europe.

The dress was made up of a kind of wide black dress up to the ankles, gloves, shoes, a cane, a hat and the famous bird-shaped protective masks where aromatic essences and straw were inserted, which acted as a filter. Without a doubt, this is one of the most famous Venetian masks.


And here's a bit of history… when was the Doctor or Plague Doctor mask born?


The rudimentary use of protective masks dates back to the 14th century, when some doctors began to wear beak-shaped masks tied to the head with two laces to remain immune to contagion.
The creator of the dress was In 1619 Charles de Lorme, the doctor of Louis XIII, proposed the idea of ​​a single complete dress, similar to the armor of soldiers.
Lorme devised a water-repellent tunic of waxed fabric that included gloves, shoes and a wide-brimmed hat, while the mask was already in use in Rome and Venice.


The disquieting mask actually served as a respirator, it had two holes for the eyes covered however by glass lenses, two holes for the nasal orifices and a large curved bird's beak in which various perfumed substances and herbs were placed (amber, thyme , myrrh, lavender, dried flowers, mint leaves, cloves, garlic, often with gauze soaked in vinegar and essential oils)

These measures were important to avoid the smell of sick people, which was thought to be the cause of the disease at the time.

One of the most used accessories was a stick, to avoid direct contact with the patients to undress them and be able to visit them in the best possible way, they also wore long gloves, boots and a long tunic down to their feet.
So the meaning I think is very well explained already with all this information.


As seen in the picture,

in Rome doctors appear

when they are called

at their patients

in places affected by the plague.

Their hats and cloaks,

of new shape, they are in black oiled canvas.

Their masks have

glass lenses

their beaks are stuffed

of antidotes.

unhealthy air cannot

do them no harm,

nor does it alarm them.

The stick in the hand

it serves to show

the nobility of theirs


wherever they go.




Jean-Jacques Manget, wrote the Treatise on the Plague in 1721, the dress was worn by the doctors of Nijmegen from 1636 to 1637 for the plague epidemic and also during the Plague of 1630-1631 in Venice.
In 1656 a great epidemic killed 14,500 people in Rome and 300,000 in Naples. However, this custom was not well seen by the population, who associated it with death. The dress was used until the 18th century, when it began to disappear.




The mask then became famous in the Commedia dell'arte , and today it is one of the most used during the Venice Carnival . The plague doctor also appears in a chapter of the hit console game Assassin's Creed .



Although many people believe otherwise, it is probably confused with the Black Death in fourteenth century Europe.
In any case, we at Unmasked can confirm with certainty that the doctor's mask was predominantly white, we made many black pieces on request. But in reality the plague doctor's mask was not black .

If you were looking for it and can't find it, write to us immediately


What did plague doctors do?

Plague doctors also worked as civil servants in times of epidemic in the Venetian Republic.

The main task, in addition to taking care of the victims of the Black Death, was also to write the amount of deceased in public records. In some European cities such as Peruggia and Florence, doctors were asked to carry out autopsies to clarify the reason for the death and how the plague had been the cause.

Plague doctors witnessed numerous deaths. One of their tasks too was to give as much information and advice to their patients as to how to behave before death.




As is well known, the manifestation of the plague dates back to 542 in Byzantium while it arrived in Venice from Dalmatia in 1348 by sea through merchant boats by sailors fleeing from Caffa. Some believe that the plague led to the deaths of 37,000 people while in other archives it is claimed that it may have reached 70,000 deaths.

Many people ask me what the name of the plague doctor is, this doesn't have a precise answer, what I can say and who were the most famous doctors in the period of the black plague

the most famous doctors

Another famous Irish doctor Niall O'Glacáin who thanks to his courage to take care of his sick patients gained great respect in France, Spain and Italy.

One of the famous Black Death doctors who provided medical advice on preventive measures was Michel Nostradame usually called Nostradamus (Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France December 14 of 1503-July 2 of 1566).

Nostradamus' advice was to get rid of the infected bodies, let her get fresh air, drink clean water and drink a prepared rosehip juice.

Ambroise Pare and Paracelros were famous plague doctors in Medieval Europe.

Giovanni Ventura (sometimes Giovanni de Ventura) Plague doctor

was an Italian Black Death doctor, who practiced in the Italian city of Pavia from 1479. Ventura was a qualified doctor, as he had a degree in Medicine.



Professional work

Contract of 1479
Main article: Black Death medical contract
When Ventura negotiated a lucrative contract as a municipal specialist doctor with the city of Pavia to treat patients with the bubonic plague, he had just finished his university education and wanted to enter the medical profession. His contract consisted of 16 clauses, setting out the conditions under which he would perform his job. As regards the salary, it was fixed at 30 florins a month, a high figure for the time, for a total of 360 florins a year; the average skilled worker earned about 60 florins a year in 19th-century Italy. XV.
Also, under his contract, he was awarded a fully furnished house and money to cover his living expenses, as well as severance pay which would take effect when his contract ended. That compensation consisted of two months' advance payment of his salary. Thus, Ventura was prohibited from charging individual patients for his services, as the city paid his salary out of public purses. However, he could accept gifts of any kind from his patients if they were offered as a reward for his good work
However, the most important advantage of his contract was the right to Pavia citizenship, which would have allowed him to work easily as a doctor in the city once the municipal contract had expired (Ventura had moved to a country town and, originally, was not citizen of Pavia). Furthermore, he was obliged to visit his patients as many times a day as necessary, accompanied by an escort appointed by the city itself to avoid infecting healthy people between visits. Nor could he care for patients who had contracted other diseases, only those with bubonic plague.7 The latter was included in the sixteenth clause of his contract:
Mastro Giovanni is not authorized to circulate in the city to assist patients, unless a man expressly designated by the community accompanies him.



This is how the plague was experienced

This short film by Norwegian director probably Øyvind Svanes Lunde, is the video that would most represent what the plague was like in Europe. Try turning off the light, turn up the volume and grab a blanket to cover your face when you can't take it anymore....


The Plague Doctor from Øyvind Svanes Lunde on Vimeo

the film THE DOCTOR: The Plague Doctor

The Italian horror film about the legends of the island of Poveglia.

A horror film project by the Italian screenwriter and director Emmanuele Mengotti, born in Venice. The film that takes its cue from the beliefs and suggestions related to the haunted island.

According to legend, the island of Poveglia became a military base in the war of Chioggia (1378-1381), later transformed into a hospital where the bodies of people affected by the plague were burned.

In the early years of the twentieth century, a mental asylum was built in which lobotomization was practiced.

From the film about the plague doctor you could enjoy the trailer that will surely not disappoint your expectations, certainly as intriguing and disturbing as few horror films can be.



Buy the real is authentic plague mask, all our models for sale, I can also customize an original model for you. Traditional Plague Mask with Hat, Doctor or Plague Doctor



According to Susan L. Einbinder's book "After the Black Death" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), many plague doctors have written short books, known as plague tracts, to counsel their peers and the literate public on plague prevention. plague. The Spanish physician Jacme d'Agramont published one of the first treatises in April 1348. According to Einbinder, another early plague doctor named Prof. Gentile da Foligno of Bologna, Italy, died of the plague in 1348, after writing several fascicles on the subject.

After the outbreak of the Black Death, doctors and scientists immediately tried to adapt the disease to their current understanding of medicine. In both Europe and the Middle East this meant defining plague in terms of the theory of the four body humors (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, black bile), first developed by the ancient physicians Hippocrates and Galen and further explained by Arab and Latins in the Middle Ages.

Did plague doctors catch the plague?

The germs that cause plague actually sometimes travel in the air, but fragrant herbs don't stop them. Many doctors still got sick by breathing through the nostril holes in their masks. However, some forms of plague were only spread through flea and rodent bites.


Alvise Zen, a "plague doctor", wrote to Monsieur d'Audreville a few years after the epidemic which decimated the population of Venice in two successive waves, in 1575 and 1630. "Excellence Monsieur d'Audreville, I will tell you about those terrible days only because I am convinced that without memory there is no history and because loving the truth is our common heritage, and because, after the horror, that misfortune has turned into a celebration, even more, a one of the most loved by the Venetians, it makes the memory less burdensome, but let's get to the facts. It was 1630. Along with the spices and precious fabrics, the ships of La Serenísima also carried the black death . Ah! My dear friend, not even the wars and famines offered such a bleak spectacle.The Republic immediately took a series of measures to stop the epidemic: people were appointed to supervise the cleanliness of houses, the sale of dangerous foods was prohibited, public places were closed, including and asked her. Only doctors were allowed to move freely. Nurses and undertakers had to wear a badge visible from a great distance. We wore a long closed dress, gloves, boots and covered our faces with a mask with a long hooked nose and goggles that gave us a terrifying look. We lifted the clothes of the sick with a long stick and operated on the buboes with long scalpels like poles. Sick men and women were transported to the island of old Lazareto; Instead, people who had been in contact with the afflicted were taken to Lazareto Nuevo for more than twenty days of precautionary observation. A gallows had been hoisted in one vessel to execute violators of hygiene and food ordinances. The plague killed the rich and the poor alike. Do you want to know how many Venetians marched together with the Eternal Father? Eighty thousand , think about it, in seventeen months; twelve thousand in November 1630; In just one day, the 9th, there were 595. There was no one left to bury the corpses. Boats passed through the canals from which came the cry: "Throw him on the barge if he has a dead person at home."


but where did the plague come from?

The epidemic reached Europe via trade routes with the Orient. It seems that she was born in the 1920s in the Gobi desert, where a bacterium that had settled in the blood of black mice was later transmitted to humans by a particular type of flea.

What is Bubonic plague and what are its symptoms?

The best-known symptom of bubonic plague is one or more infected, swollen, painful lymph nodes, known as buboes. After entering the body through the bite of an infected flea, the pestis bacterium travels to a lymph node where it begins to reproduce.

How did the plague spread?

Bubonic plague, characterized by painful swelling of the lymph nodes, called "buboes," is the most common. Plague is transmitted between animals and humans via the bite of infected fleas, direct contact with infected tissue, or inhalation of infected respiratory droplets.


Here you can buy the Original Doctor model


What was the name of the plague doctor?

It is known for certain that the inventor of this protective model which included a cloak, gloves, hat, glasses and a thin stick to be able to touch the sick with due distance was the French doctor Charles de L'Orme.

How to protect yourself from the bubonic plague?

Bubonic plague can be treated with the administration of antibiotics: streptomycin and tetracycline.


What was the cure for the Black Death in the Middle Ages? How was the plague finally controlled?

Although there was no specific cure in the Middle Ages, the most effective methods of combating it were phytosanitary measures such as quicklime, fire and improved sanitation. Pioneers of their time and contrary to the prevailing social context of the time.


How many times did the Black Death appear?

The Black Death wiped out a third of Europe's population and recurred in successive waves until 1490, eventually killing an estimated 200 million people. None of the subsequent outbreaks reached the severity of the 1348 epidemic.

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