Théophile FRAGONARD (Paris, 1806 - Neuilly-sur-Seine... - Lot 47 - Daguerre

Lot 47
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Estimation :
2000 - 3000 EUR
Théophile FRAGONARD (Paris, 1806 - Neuilly-sur-Seine... - Lot 47 - Daguerre
Théophile FRAGONARD (Paris, 1806 - Neuilly-sur-Seine 1876) L'habit d'Arlequin Canvas. Old restorations. 55 x 47 cm At first glance, this image fascinates and questions. What story does this actor with a black face and white hands tell the two children? It is clear that we are in the backstage area of a theatre, with a poster and a fake sword hanging on the wall, in "Romantic Bohemia" and in scenes like this that will influence artists up to the Picasso of the pink period. We thank Olivia Voisin and Agathe Sanjuan for pointing out another version of this composition by Théophile Fragonard. preserved at the Comédie Française, smaller and with some variations (canvas, 30 x 25 cm, anc. coll. Baron Taylor). The catalogue indicates that the painting illustrates Florian's one-act comedy Le Bon Père, published in 1783 (Cf. Georges Monval, Les Collections de la Comédie-Française: catalogue historique et raisonné, Paris, 1897, p. 107, no. 286). A key character in the commedia dell'arte, Harlequin can be recognised by his black mask and trousers at lozenges. Wearing this mask is linked to the origins of Italian theatre, born of improvised sketches in the streets where valets mocked their masters. The mask prevented them from being recognized and pursued. The black Harlequin mask is said to be an allusion to the soot-covered faces of the charcoal burners of Bergamo, his hometown, whose inhabitants were known for their foolishness. His garment, originally patched with a variety of fabrics, has been transformed over time into the lozenge-shaped costume of various colours that we know him by now. In the didascalia of scene II of the Good Father, Florian specifies that "Harlequin must be in Harlequin's panties and mask", he addresses here to his daughter Nisida and her suitor Cleante the final tirade: "My children, you will be united, and you will undoubtedly be happy: but remem
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