Harlequin: what is hidden under the mask?

Harlequin: what is hidden under the mask? Harlequin boy we met in his childhood in the tale "The Adventures of Pinocchio" by Alexei Tolstoy. He is tan with a stick friend Pierrot.

Harlequin, though long ago not a boy. He was born 500 years ago in Venice. Initially it was called Cola, Flauttino and even Burrattino. And the name of Harlequin, might have received on behalf of the devil Ellekina of Etruscan legends. The first image in the middle of his forehead emblazoned Harlequin bump - the remainder of the horns. In southern Italy, was born at the same time his brother - Pulcinella. Both - characters comedy masks, which was later called the commedia dell'arte (arts, crafts). This was the first professional theater in Europe.

Theatre and his mask expressed simultaneously and cheerful character of Italians and their dissatisfaction with life. Italy in the 16 century was under the dominion of Spain, crushed and destroyed. Before a proud and independent merchants have been degraded and turned into a rentier. Cities - overflowing with refugees from the villages. High Renaissance is gone, but changed people's ideas about themselves. They are aware of themselves as individuals. But the archaic understanding of the unity of the world and man was still alive. It manifests itself in the element of carnival, the legacies of ancient bacchanalia.

 Harlequin: what is hidden under the mask? As the carnival, the actors wore masks and were carrying attributes that explain their nature or profession. As the carnival, they improvise, not having the text pieces. The action alternated dances, songs and buffoon rooms with elements of acrobatics. The plot was simple and naive: two pairs of lovers would like to marry old men were opposed, and the servants helped the lovers outwitting the elderly.

However, the masks were not simply ridiculous: they ridiculed the Valais region of real life. The best-known satirical masks were nasty old men - Pantalone (merchant skuperdyaya), Doctors (scientist-charlatan), Captain (Spaniard-occupier). And - masks servants, the hungry and did not know what morality. Aged hinted bull and bear. The servants were fighting, stealing, debauchery, joked and swore at all the Italian dialects, which is especially amused spectators.

And the audience were delighted. And not just Italian: comedy quickly conquered all of Europe and in France, eventually became a national theater. Pulcinella in France turned into Polichinelle in England - in Punch, Russia - in the parsley. Lope de Vega, Shakespeare, Moliere - all have been inspired by comedy masks.

 Harlequin: what is hidden under the mask? Harlequin was one of the many servants, village simpleton, who spoke at the Bergamo dialect. He thrashed, cheated, but he was canny and very angry. He wore a black domino with a long nose, wide-brimmed hat, wide linen shirt and trousers, which avarice lat Anything. In his belt was a wooden sword, not save it from blows. By the end of 16 century Harlequin changed and become like a clown. He developed a cap decorated with rabbit tail or paw (a symbol of cowardice), and sometimes to her sewed bells.

In the 17 century, Harlequin continues to evolve. His costume was gradually narrowed until it became tight, he spoke of evasiveness character. Clothes it all you have to sew the triangles of red, green and yellow colors. A head appeared cocked his smart. Its popularity has grown so tall that he had "swallowed" his brother's Pulcinella. This affected the nature: Harlequin became a deft plotter. From the village of Tongues was gone, and satirical jokes became even angrier and poisonous.

 Harlequin: what is hidden under the mask? When the 18 th century Italian commedia dell'arte had ceased to exist, and masks moved to the puppet theater, Harlequin began to live an independent life in other theaters. His conversations were pathetic, and intrigue ended in complete victory. He was graceful and happy lover, always discouraging master Piero's wife Columbine. Piero had already appeared in the French masque, and was originally a miller in white robes and with his face powdered with flour. Since then, the Harlequin and Pierrot became eternal companions and antagonists.

After the French Revolution at the Harlequin now has its own genre in the European theater of the fair - Harlequinade. Introduction of a simple plot, where Harlequin was the hero and winner, consisted of songs, dance, slapstick, pantomime and comic fights.

 Harlequin: what is hidden under the mask? K.Somov.Arlekin and Death in the mid-19 century, the fate of Harlequin suffered a new turn. Circus emerged as an independent kind of spectacle, and the arena there were clowns - White (host, resulting in white Pierrot) and Red or August (the servant, whose prototype was Harlequin).

But fate would have it lift Harlequin even higher. In the era of modernism they Piero become a cult figure of art of decadence. Their images attached mystical significance: one attributed to the universal sorrow, another - playing with death. Their appearance was refined and elegant and beautifully illustrated the motto "Art - for the sake of art." Waspish Harlequin and Pierrot suffering inspired many great masters of Russia, including Marius Petipa, Fokine, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Meyerhold, E. Vakhtangov, A. Tairov.

 Harlequin: what is hidden under the mask? In our time at the famous Venetian carnival scene played out in the style of commedia dell'arte, and the Mummers parade flashed bright tights ubiquitous Harlequin. But his face closed white, impenetrable mask. He survived the time of his birth, a time when changed and grew, survived the purpose of his mask and became cosmopolitan. He served the people to denounce evil and fighting the evil of his own methods. Long Harlequin stayed funny for all , But it is time political correctness, and the satire was not respected. Harlequin into a beautiful symbol of the theater, carnival, and Venice.