Gallant Harlequin and Colombina by Jean Antoine Watteau

Gallant Harlequin and Colombina by Jean Antoine Watteau

Painting of the French painter Antoine Watteau “The Gallant Harlequin and Columbine”. The size of the painting is 36 x 26 cm, wood, oil. Watteau portrayed in his painting characters comedy del arte. Comedy del arte – an Italian professional theater that used masks, pantomime and buffoonery.

At the heart of the presentation of comedy del arte was only a short script, the actors improvised right before the eyes of the audience. In the middle of the 18th century, two of the greatest Venetian playwrights Carlo Goldoni and Carlo Gozzi put an end to the improvised actors’ play. The faces

of the heroine and the hero were partially covered by a black half-mask, they said in Italian literary language.

The remaining characters communicated in different Italian dialects, and each was dressed in a traditional for this image costume and mask. On the stage of comedy del arte appeared more than a hundred characters. Among them were loved ones, without which there was not a single idea. This amorous and miserly Venetian merchant Pantalone, the servants – the cheat and cheerful Brighella, the simple-minded and gentle Arlequin, the resourceful Pulcinella, the charming Colombina; bahwal and coward Captain, chatterbox Doctor, pedantic, intrusive Tartaglia, Lovers and other characters.

The actor played the same role until old age. The replacement of one mask by another in the troupe of actors was absolutely impossible. Favorite by the audience wizard stage Harlequin – the main organizer of intrigue. The main scenic language of Harlequin in the Italian comedy of masks were somersaults, slaps and sticks, which he then distributes, he himself receives.

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