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Italian theater prints, circa 1550-1983

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Finding aid for the Italian theater prints, ca. 1550-1983
Series IV. Commedia dell'arte, ca. 1560-ca. 1954 9 boxes, 16 flat file folders 295 prints, 1 pamphlet, 1 score, 16 cutouts
Series IV.C. Uses of commedia dell'arte imagery, ca. 1560-ca. 1890 2 boxes, 5 flat file folders 72 prints, 1 pamphlet, 1 cutout
The subseries documents the variety of ways in which commedia dell'arte images have been used for interior decoration, to advertise commercial products, and as toys and games. Also featured are images of political and social satire that illustrate the commedia dell'arte's tendency to satirize human folly and pretense. Allegorical images and vanities of earthly pleasure feature commedia dell'arte characters serving as moral exhortations or warnings. The subseries is arranged first thematically, and then chronologically within each theme. The following themes are featured: decorative designs, allegories, social satire, political caricatures, toys and games, toy theater, advertisements, ephemera.
Decorative designs
Box Folder
18* 1 [Arlequin debout] Crépy, Louis, etcher Watteau, Antoine, designer [Paris] : Chez Surugue rue des Noyers [ca. 1728] 1 print : etching. Im. 39.6 x 19.6; Sh. 39.8 x 20
The etching reproduces a folding screen designed by Antoine Watteau, featuring a figure of Harlequin (i.e. Arlequin) standing on a carpet placed on a platform within an arabesque. It forms part of a suite of six prints titled Paravent de six feuilles, announced in the Mercure de France in 1727 and again in 1728. Inscribed in lower margin: Wateau pinx / L. Crepy filius Scup. / Chez Surugue / rue des Noyers / avec privilege du Roi. State 2 (cf. Dacier) Ref.: Dacier, É., Vuaflart, A. Jean de Jullienne, no. 162
18* 2 Colombine et Arlequin Moyreau, Jean, etcher Watteau, Antoine, designer A Paris : Chez Gersaint md. Pont Notre-Dame et chez Surugue ruë des Noyers [ca. 1729] 1 print : etching. Im. 41.6 x 27.4
The print after a design by Antoine Watteau shows the dancing figures of Columbine (i.e. Colombine) and Harlequin (i.e. Arlequin) within an arabesque design that was announced in the Mercure de France in 1729. Inscription in the lower margin: ... gravés d'apres le dessein original inventé et colorie par A. Watteau peintre du Roy. Ref.: Rosenberg, P. Antoine Watteau, vol. 3, p. 1404-1405 (G146); Dacier, É., Vuaflart, A. Jean de Jullienne, no. 64
18* 3 [Untitled] Watteau, Antoine, designer Leopold, Johann Christian, publisher [Augsburg] : Iohann Christian Leopold excudit Aug. Vind. [17--] 4 prints : etching, hand col. Pl. 25.7 x 18.5; Sh. 33.7 x 21
Four prints numbered 152 to 155 that include two etchings after the designs by Antoine Watteau for folding screens, which were also reproduced by Louis Crépy in the suite Paravent de six feuilles. Two prints give instructions on the reproduction of the design.
Box Folder
18* 4 Crapvla et lascivia Sadeler, Johann, engraver Vos, Maarten de, draftsman [15--] 1 print : engraving. Im. 19.3 x 26.2 ; Pl. 20.5 x 26.7; Sh. 20.6 x 27
Also known as Scene of banquet, the print from the suite Sorrows of the world shows figures around a banquet table with three masked figures on the left. Ref.: Hollstein, vol. 41, no. 558; vol. 44, no.1274
18* 5 [Figures in landscape] [17--] 1 print : etching, engraving. Sh. 17 x 29
Figures that feature commedia dell'arte characters are shown in a landscape setting, drinking, eating, and playing music. Venus and Cupid appear in the sky.
18* 6 [The five senses] Lottes, Christoph Friedrich, etcher Hofer, Andreas, etcher Decker, Paul, designer Engelbrecht, Martin, publisher [Augsburg] : Martin Engelbrecht excud. A. V. [17--] 5 prints : etching. Im. 29.2 x 19; Pl. 30.3 x 20.4; Sh. 36.4 x 23.8
Complete suite of prints of allegories of the five senses featuring commedia dell'arte characters. The prints are titled: Auditus. Das Gehör. L'ouie, Tactus. Das Fühlen. Le touchement, Odor. Der Geruch. L'odorat, Visus. Das Gesicht. La veüe, Gustus. Der Geschmack. Le gout. Ref.: Schott, F. Der Augsburger Kupferstecher und Kunstverleger Martin Engelbrecht, no. 2600-2604
Social satire
Box Folder
18* 7 Gaming [ca. 1733] 1 print : etching. Im. 31 x 18.5; Pl. 32.5 x 19.8; Sh. 37.2 x 23.5
The commedia dell'arte scene shows Scaramouche and Harlequin quarelling while playing cards. Moralizing verses are inscribed on the playing cards and dice ("… All Cheats at Cards …"). Inscription: Here Scaramouche and Harlequin at Gaming can't agree … / …. Signed: John Bickham Scrip. Numbered in upper right: 87.
18* 8 Baal of de Waereld in maskerade - The world in masquerade [17--] 1 print : etching, hand col. Im. 17.5 x 38.8; Pl. 25.8 x 39.7; Sh. 34 x 46.3
The print shows a masked ball featuring Harlequin, Pantaloon, Brighella, and the Captain with figures conversing and dancing. An inscription in the lower margin describes the identity that each figure is trying to hide behind the masks.
18* 9 La mascarade [17--] 1 print : etching. Sh. 15.4 x 15.9; Mt. 20.4 x 31.4
Masked figures parade, some in a carriage, greeting the passers-by. Satirical verses comment upon the image, indicating that one can hide one's intentions under a costume, but many lose at the game: Pour s'enrichir on se déguise / on prend un masque à sa guise … / Malgré l'hyver en Carnaval / Que de gens sortent nus du bal. The number "2" appears in a garland at top center.
18* 10 Masquerade ticket Hogarth, William, draftsman [1727] 1 print : etching. Im. 16 x 25.5; Sh. 24.9 x 32.2
The print is a parody of the painting Masquerade on the stage of the Haymarket theatre, 1724, attributed to Giuseppe Grisoni (cf. Krysmanski). Masked figures featuring Harlequin and other characters congregate in a large room, where a sacrifice is performed at an altar below a sculpture of Priapos. A clock, inscribed with the words "Impertinence", "Wit", and "Nonsense" is suspended from the ceiling. State without legend in lower margin. Ref.: Krysmanski, B. Hogarth's enthusiasm delineated, vol. 1, p. 33-34, vol. 2, ill. 14
18* 11 Les amis de la joie - Scènes de carnaval A Paris : Chez Basset rue St. Jacques no. 64 [17--] 1 print : etching, hand col. Sh. 39.5 x 28.5
Three rows of characters and caricatures are represented, featuring several commedia dell'arte characters: Harlequin, Pierrot, and the Doctor.
18* 12 De vervallen actionisten hersteld door den triompheerden Arlequin [17--] 1 print : etching. Im. 23.2 x 34; Pl. 28 x 35; Sh. 30.2 x 35.8
Harlequin, seated in a horse-drawn chariot, is distributing letters inscribed with different jobs on them. Figures try to reach for the letters. The city of Vianen is seen across the river in the background.
18* 13 Allons donc! allons donc! faisons le saut périlleux! [183-] 1 print : chalk lithograph, col. Sh. 35.2 x 26.8
Plate 141 from the journal La caricature, no. 70, showing Harlequin turning away from a figure walking on a tightrope. Signed: Delaporte.
18* 14 Le juste milieu se crotte Traviès de Villers, Charles Joseph, draftsman [183-] 1 print : chalk lithograph, col. Sh. 35.4 x 27.5
Plate 144 from the journal La caricature, no. 71, showing people lined up along a street where Harlequin and a clown are carrying a large pear.
18* 15 La bosse aux bêtises de Polichinelle [Paris] : Ratier, gendre et successeur … [ca. 1874] 1 v. (8 p.) : wood engraving. Sh. 17.9 x 11.2
A pamphlet of puns collated by Halbert, with poems by Victor Gaucher. The cover shows Punchinello in profile with a humpback. Inked postmark, lower right: SEINE / 1874.
See also: Series VII. Oversize materials, FF. 33-34**
Political caricatures
Box Folder
19* 1 Frederick impiously assuming the character of the devil, at a masquerade [London] : [Prin]ted for & Sold by Carington Bowles [London] : Published as the Act directs, 31 August 1787 1 print : etching. Im. 14.9 x 24.8; Sh. 17 x 25.5
Masked figures including Harlequin, Punchinello, Pierrot, the Doctor, and Pantaloon congregate in front of a building at a masquerade in which Frederick is disguised at the devil.
19* 2 Die Maskerade im Theater, grosses Divertissement von Henry. (Letzte Scene) Geiger, Andreas, etcher Schoeller, Johann Christian, designer [18--] 1 print : etching, hand col. Im. 18.4 x 24.6; Pl. 22.6 x 28; Sh. 27 x 37.3
The etching from the suite: Galerie interessanter u. drolliger Szenen der Wiener Bühnen shows a kingly figure standing at the center of a theater with Harlequin and other masked figures performing on stage in the background. Inscribed in lower left corner of plate: Theatralische Bilder Gallerie No. 12.
Also see: Series VII. Oversize materials, FF. 35-36**
Toys and games
Box Folder
19* 3 Het vermakelijk Harlikein-spel [18--] 1 print : wood engraving. Im. 38.9 x 29.8; Sh. 50.3 x 32.8
The print is a board game, titled the Harlequin game, that is to be played with dice. Instructions for the game are printed below the image. Ref.: Van Heurck, É. Histoire de l'imagerie populaire flamande, p. 524, no. 95
19* 4 Nieuw Colombine-spel of Pantalon vervolger - Le nouveau jeu de Colombine. te Amsterdam : By Gebroeders van arum. bockverkoopers, bezyden het Paleis No. 2. [18--] 1 print : etching, hand col. Sh. 26 x 34.2
The print is a board game played with dice. It follows the path taken by Columbine during her elopment and marriage to Harlequin. Signed: J. Plugger.
19* 5 Imagerie Pellerin Arlequin - Imagerie d'épinal, no. 1342; Imagerie Pellerin pantins, Polichinelle & Arlequin. Imagerie d'épinal, no. 1351; Imagerie Pellerin pantins, Pierrot & Colombine Imagerie d'épinal, no. 1353 Imagerie Pellerin (Epinal, France), publisher [18--] 3 prints : wood engraving, col. Sh. 40.2 x 29.4 and smaller
Three prints, one showing parts of a Harlequin puppet, the second parts of a Harlequin and Punchinello, and the third a Pierrot and a Columbine puppet. The commedia dell'arte figures are numbered for possible cutout and assemblage.
19* 6 These beautiful scraps - only one penny per sheet [18--] 1 cutout : col. Sh. 18.1 x 24.5
The cutout figures feature Harlequin and a ballet dancer.
Also see: Series VII. Oversize materials, FF. 37**
Toy theater
Box Folder
19* 7 Webb's new pantomime characters. Webb, William G., publisher London : Pub. by W. Webb, 146 Old Street St. Lukes [not after 1890] 1 print : etching, hand col. Sh. 17 x 21.7
Two rows of masked figures, including Harlequin, for possible cutout, and to be assembled for a toy theater.
19* 8 Pollock's new pantomime characters Pollock, Benjamin, publisher London : Published by B. Pollock, 73 Hoxton Street, Hoxton [18--] 5 prints : etching. Sh. 17.1 x 21.5
Five prints, numbered 5, 5, 6, 7, and 8, each showing two rows of masked figures, including Harlequin, for possible cutout and to be assembled for a toy theater.
Box Folder
19* 9 Chocolat Jacquin frères [ca. 1867-ca. 1878] 2 prints : wood engraving, col. Im. 6.5 x 9.7
Two cards advertising the chocolate produced by the Jacquin frères firm in Paris. The first card shows Harlequin and Pierrot, the second card shows Harlequin, Pierrot, and the Doctor. On the verso of each card is inscribed: HORS CONCOURS AUX EXPOSITIONS UNIVERSELLES / de 1867 et 1878 / CHOCOLATS DE QUALITÉ SUPÉRIEURE / Jacquin Frères / 12, Rue Pernelle. / Paris
19* 10 Friandises du Pierrot gourmand. Exigez le nom [18--] 1 print : wood engraving. Im. 12.9 x 8; Sh. 18 x 13.5
The print is an advertisement for candies called "Friandises du Pierrot gourmand." Pierrot is shown holding a fruit basket on one arm and a cornucopia on the other. On verso: portrait of Mlle France ELLYS. Ph. Henri Manuel
19* 11 Liebig Company's Fleisch-Extract; Der Carneval von Rom - Liebig Company's Fleisch-Extract [18--] 12 prints : wood engraving, col. Im. 10.5 x 7.2; Mt. 27.5 x 28.7
Twelve cards advertising a German meat extract and illustrated with commedia dell'arte figures. The first set of six cards shows: Brighella, Doctor Balanzone, Tartaglia, Punchinello, Pantaloon, and Bepe Napa. The second set of six cards shows commedia dell'arte figures at the carnival in Rome. The cards are titled: Die Moccoletti, Der Saltarello Tanz, Wettlauf der Berber Rosse, Maskenball im Theater, Blumenwerfen, Corso.
Box Folder
19* 12 The theatrical candidates [17--] 1 print : etching. Im. 9.2 x 8.6; Sh. 10 x 9
A group of figures is shown featuring Harlequin and elegantly dressed women.
19* 13 [ Commedia dell'arte figures] [17--] 1 print : etching. Im. 7.8 x 11.5; Pl. 8.5 x 12; Sh. 10.3 x 15.4
Various masked figures.
19* 14 Salon de 1861.- Le Mercredi des cendres, tableau de M. A. Lambron Verdeil, Pierre, engraver Lambron des Piltieres, Albert Anatole Martin Ernest, designer [18--] 1 print : wood engraving. Im. 17.7 x 22.1; Sh. 21.2 x 24.5
The wood engraving, issued in a magazine, shows Harlequin bowing to a man and children as Pierrot watches. It is based on a painting by Albert Anatole Lambron des Piltières.
19* 15 Au clair de la lune, mon ami Pierrot [18--] 1 print : wood engraving, col. Sh. 39.3 x 29.5
The wood engraving is the back cover of a magazine or newspaper that shows Pierrot laughing with a guitar slung over his shoulder and holding a sheet inscribed: Au Clair de la lune …
19* 16 Capitano Coviello; Re Bomba; Florindo Bosaura; [Untitled] [18--] 4 prints : lithograph, hand col. Sh. 16.5 x 10.6 and smaller
Four prints showing costumed figures, including a standing figure of Capitano Coviello in profile wearing helmet, carrying shield and sword.
19* 17 Maschere del teatro italiano dei secoli XVII e XVIII - Tavola 1a; Maschere del teatro italiano dei secoli XVII e XVIII - Tavola II.a. [18--] 2 prints : chalk lithograph, hand col. Im. 15.6 x 24.7; Sh. 19.6 x 29.1
Plate 1a shows a challenge to a duel in a piazza, involving Pantaloon, with other commedia dell'arte figures looking on: Harlequin, Brighella, the Captain, and the Doctor. Plate II.a. shows Zanni and Harlequin in conversation as other figures look on. There is a figure drawing on verso of plate IIa.

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