Harlequin on the Moon: Commedia dell’Arte and the Visual Arts

Lynne Lawner’s Harlequin on the Moon, recently published by Harry N. Abrams, traces the history of commedia dell’arte from its beginnings as popular entertainment in Renaissance Italy through many transformations to its rediscovery in the experimental theater of today.

In her lively slide-lecture, author and art historian Lynne Lawner maps out all of these aspects, unearthing rare texts of commedia plays, finding countless versions of the ever-fascinating Pierrot, Harlequin, and their cohorts, relating the inspired gossip of courts and theaters, and revealing the ways in which these figures and their classic stories have arisen again and again in the works of artists from Tiepolo and Watteau to Beardsley, Picasso, Severini and many other masters. Images will be included from her recent travels through Central and Eastern Europe, where she has discovered yet more frescoed rooms and beautiful objects inspired by commedia.

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