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Harlequin and Pierrot

Painting, 1924, 175×175 cm

Description of the artwork «Harlequin and Pierrot»

In this famous painting is immediately and unmistakably recognized the hand of Andre Derain, which he remained all the years after the First world war. Here everything is as if frozen, the frozen. Desert landscape "littered with the horizon" inscribed in a flat square, stale. Not a drop of life he did not add any wide wedge light clouds under a cobalt sky, nor the miser beam dark cactus at the bottom left, no symmetric cacti still life with jug and violin.

Almost the whole field of the canvas is occupied by the figures of the two comedians. Who just drew in the early twentieth century this famous stage couple of the traditional Commedia always hungry beggar, the trickster and snapper harlequin in a suit of solid patches and hopelessly in love with the maiden Columbine coot Piero, to which are added the evils of poverty, youth and delicate Constitution. These characters wrote Cezanne and Signac, and Picasso. The Derain in addition, there is a single Harlequin with a guitar (1, 2), and even earlier – in "politicheskom" 1906, when the artist was doing a lot of watercolor paintings, he painted only one colored lines on a white background seven amazing plastic figures of the merry men: far right – harlequin and Pierrot. Position, in which Deren then "caught" the dancing Pierrot, exactly repeated on the canvas, 1924. Both characters are equally turned heads. The difference of their characters leveled, and even the face – sharp-Fox, as expected, the harlequin and childishly rounded Pierrot – expressing the same mournful unconcern. Both staring at nothing.

It is symbolic that the couple dancing on the sand, which absorbs any energy living movement and dampens all sounds. Moreover, in the hands of artists fake instruments without strings. They are silent.

Physiognomic traits of the characters, costumes with hats, props – the trappings of Comedy followed, but within the artists of desolation, and all their traditional jokes, tricks and stories in the proposed lifeless circumstances is absurd. Melancholy not to overcome even the comedians. But they diligently do their job.

This metaphor applies to artists.

Deren wrote "Harlequin and Pierrot" at the time of close contacts with the theatrical world that had on his work a direct impact. He developed the stage design and costumes for Diaghilev's ballet seasons "Fantastic store" (1919; similar work for other performances Diaghilev offered then Matisse and Picasso), "Jack in the Box" by Erik Satie (1926), and in subsequent years repeatedly collaborated with various theaters in France and London.

Author: Maria Kropacheva
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About the artwork

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Alternative titles: Harlequin And Pierrot

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene

Style of art: Neoclassicism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1924

Size: 175×175 cm

Artwork in selections: 11 selections

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