Harlequin unmasked - the commedia dell'arte and porcelain sculpture.

By: Chilton, Meredith | George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New Haven; London : George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art with Yale University Press, 2001Description: xv, 368 p, ill. (some col.), ports. (some col.), 31 cm.ISBN: 0300090099.Subject(s): Performing Arts | Toronto | Ontario | Porcelain | Porcelain figures | Commedia dell'arte in art | George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic ArtDDC classification: 792.026CHI
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Reference Book Reference Book AUB Library
Book 792.026 CHI (Browse shelf) Not for loan 059447
Standard Loan Book Standard Loan Book AUB Library
Book 792.026 CHI (Browse shelf) Available 036314
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

The commedia dell'arte began in Italy as irreverent, improvised street theatre and is best known for its exuberant characters, specifically Harlequin, Pantalone, Pulcinella, Scaramouche, and Colombine, among others. Since the sixteenth century, these personalities have inspired paintings, engravings, and porcelain sculptures. Encompassing theatre, court culture, masquerades, and the decorative arts, this splendidly illustrated and engaging book offers original perspectives on porcelain commedia figures while also making an important contribution to the study of the commedia dell'arte. The volume focuses on nearly 150 porcelain sculptures as it tells the story of the commedia dell'arte's transformation into sculpture. Why were the figures made? Why do they appear as they do? What inspired their gestures and costumes? How did street-theatre themes become integrated into court life and entertainment? Examining these delightful porcelain figures in greater breadth and detail than ever before, this book is essential for those interested in theatre, painting, costume, and the decorative arts. This catalogue accompanies an exhibition at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Toronto, from 21

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Sponsor's Preface (p. vii)
  • Director's Preface (p. x)
  • Donor Acknowledgment (p. xii)
  • Acknowledgments (p. xiii)
  • Setting the Stage (p. 1)
  • Chapter 1 The Theatre (p. 9)
  • Chapter 2 The Cast (p. 33)
  • Chapter 3 The Gestures (p. 105)
  • Chapter 4 The Court (p. 157)
  • Chapter 5 The Masquerade (p. 203)
  • Catalogue of the Commedia dell'Arte Sculpture in the Gardiner Museum Collection (p. 269)
  • Appendix
  • Scientific Analysis of Meissen Commedia dell'Arte Sculpture in the Gardiner Museum Collection (p. 323)
  • Notes (p. 327)
  • Bibliography (p. 347)
  • Index (p. 355)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


This awesome tome describes the Italian theatrical art form Commedia dell'Arte, begun in 16th-century Italy, using the superb porcelain figurine collection in the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Toronto, Canada, along with other collections from Europe, as prime examples in the genre. The book was prepared by Chilton, curator of the Gardiner Museum and author of four of the five chapters with Domenico Pietropaolo (director, Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama, Univ. of Toronto), who sets the stage in the first chapter. Chilton's purpose in this volume is to make it "of interest to a wide range of readers, from those interested in the theatre, costumes, gesture, dance, court culture, and the masquerade to historians of the commedia dell' arte and collectors of ceramics." Includes four short introductory statements and acknowledgments, meticulously written chapters, along with a complete catalog of the Gardiner collection of commedia ceramic figurines. The notes section leaves little to chance on the sources and authenticity of historical context for the narrative; an excellent bibliography and complete index conclude the work. The lucid text is complemented by a large group of stunning color and black-and-white illustrations. General readers; researchers; faculty; professionals. A. C. Garzio emeritus, Kansas State University