Friday, February 7, 2014

Masterpiece of the Day: Fête Champêtre with Italian Comedians, 1720-1730

Fête Champêtre with Italian Comedians
Pater, 1720-1730
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Hello all, my apologies, but we'll have to go one more week without "Mr. Punch's Puzzles."  Once my schedule settles down a bit, we'll return to our normal activities.  In the meantime, let's take a look at another discovery from the Royal Collection with this gorgeous oil on canvas work by Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Pater (1695-1736).  The painting, titled Fête Champêtre with Italian Comedians, was created between 1720 and 1730.

The piece was thought to have belonged to George III or Queen Charlotte, but later research shows that it was more likely purchased by George IV in or before 1806.

This handsome and brilliantly-colored work shows a scene from the Commedia dell'Arte tradition which gave us Mr. Punch.  Here, we see Scaramouche dressed in red.  He's advancing upon the scene from the right under a columned archway, his eyes fixed upon a troupe of actors and actresses who lounge in the shade beneath the trees.  To the right of them, a masked Harlequin is courting a young lady while Pierrot stands in the center of the scene.

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