11621 A CHARMING A SET OF FOUR SHAPED PANELS EACH PAINTED WITH A CHARACTER FROM THE COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE Italian. Mid-Eighteenth Century. Measurements: Each panel measuring: Height: 45 1/2″ (115.6 cm); Width: 22 5/8″ (57.4 cm); Depth: 1″ (2.5 cm)
Tempera on canvas. Each panel depicting a different commedia dell’arte figure standing upon a pedestal within a grisaille rocaille and diaperwork painted frame, and mounted to a scroll carved wooden frame. The reverse of each panel with walnut framed stretcher, painted with paired quatrefoil rinceau motif. Formerly hinged as a low screen. Old distress at each shaped apron. Old but later thin walnut strips to each side of panels. Very old repairs, minor retouching.
Each of these charming hanging panels depicts a different figure from the Commedia dell’Arte standing on a pedestal. The Commedia dell’Arte was a colorful and boisterous form of performance that had its start in Italy in the sixteenth century, perhaps as a reaction to the classic and strict rules of theater at the time. There is a set of characters with certain fixed personality traits, but on the whole the acting was freely improvised.
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