Sunday, September 21, 2008

Harlequin Figure

The Harlequin figure was modeled after sixteen characters from the Italian theatre that came to life during the sixteenth century. Harlequin, the figure shown above, was the play’s principal character. She often wore brightly colored triangular patches. Sometimes Harlequin was accompanied by Columbine. Columbine would usually play different roles in the plays. The figures were made by Franz Anton Bustelli. The figures are manufactured by Nymphenburg porcelain Manufactory in Nymphenburg, Germany. The height of the figure is eight inches tall and is made out of hard-paste porcelain. Inspiration for Bustelli’s figures came from engravings, but they all have a sense of graceful movement which suggests the artist’s firsthand impression of a theatrical performance.
Comparing the figure to the umbrella holder, both are made out of the same material, which is porcelain. Both objects also have some sort of pattern on them. Both of them share bright colors within the patterns. Another similarity is that they stand vertically rather than horizontally.
The Campion carpet contrasts the Harlequin figure in many ways. The material used in the carpet is wool, which makes it look softer rather than the porcelain used in the figure. The scale is also a difference—the carpet is much larger than the eight inch Harlequin figure. The purpose in both objects contrast each other by the carpet is more of a decorative piece and the figure is a representation of a character in a play.

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