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Commedia dell’arte - Carnival of Comedy Players
edited by Reinhard Jansen

Commedia dell’arte - Carnival of Comedy Players
edited by Reinhard Jansen


From the sixteenth century until well into the eighteenth century, the commedia dell’arte, a popular Italian type of improvised comic theatricals, cast its spell on a large and diverse audience. Here an exuberant joy of living was reflected in a portrayal of all aspects of life exaggerated with pomposity and humour. No medium was better suited than precious porcelain to immortalise the vivacious performance of the comedians on the stage, let alone surpass their exaltation. No other subject produced a similar symbiotic relationship between the downright expressionist sculptures executed by the porcelain modellers and their heightening with brilliant colours by the porcelain painters in their astounding depiction of the costumes. Still today, these ‘luxurious creatures’ enthral the observer with the splendour of the Baroque, with that particular ‘joie de vivre’ of a grand époche. Delighted, we enter a bygone world where to enjoy life was the highest good. Commedia dell’arte - Carnival of Comedy Players, marking the fiftieth anniversary of Gesellschaft der Keramikfreunde e.V., is the first comprehensive survey of commedia dell’arte as a subject of the ceramic arts. Almost 400 objects from more than forty-five manufactories cover the period from the eighteenth to the twentieth century commedia dell’arte figurines were every workshop’s most prized items. More than forty-five manufacturers are incorporated, including: Berlin, Bow, Chelsea, Derby, Longton Hall, Meissen, Nymphenberg, Rosenthal, and Sèveres. This beautiful publication is slip-cased and includes a 336 page colour illustrated volume in German, an eighty-eight page English translation and a twenty-four page catalogue of drawings and prints.

Text in English and German