Art Fascination with Harlequin
Harlequin is the comic servant from the italian Commedia dell’arte (Comedy of improvisation). The Harlequin is characterized by his chequered costume. While generally depicted as stupid and gluttonous, he was very nimble and performed the sort of acrobatics the audience expected to see. He also is known to try to win any given lady for himself by interrupting or ridiculing his competitor.
He eventually became something more of a romantic hero around the 18th century, when his popularity provoked the it’s own theatrical form Harlequinade.
Pablo Picasso Harlequin, ca. 1919-20
Irving Penn Harlequin Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), New York, 1950
Matthew Carter Harlequin Parade, 2014
Paul Cézanne Harlequin, 1888-1890
Rafael Zabaleta Harlequin and clown with maskAndré Derain, Harlequin and Pierrot