Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Oil painting - Taglia Cantoni and Fracasso

Taglia Cantoni and Fracasso

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    England (painted)

  • Date:

    1742 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Clermont, Andien de (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Museum number:

    P.23-1985

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Object Type
Mural painting in a grand house was a sure indicator of wealth and status. Noble or wealthy families commissioned artists, often from France, The Netherlands or Italy, to decorate their homes with mythological, patriotic, allegorical or fantasy scenes, demonstrating the owner's learning, allegiance and sophisticated taste. These are a part of a series of 16 panels commissioned by Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, in 1742 to decorate the 'Scaramouche Parlour' in his house, Belvedere, in Kent.

Subjects Depicted
The panels show scenes from the Commedia dell'Arte, a type of theatre performed by Italian troupes of travelling actors. The Commedia had a large number of stock characters: the actors would improvise around a general scenario. They were often masked, and the performances involved acrobatics, music and dancing. Characters included the Capitano, a swaggering, blustering coward who invariably runs from any threat of danger, Arlecchino (who became the Harlequin of pantomime), Pulcinella (who inspired the English Punch), Pedrolino (later Pierrot) and Colombine (a serving maid who later appears in amorous association with Harlequin or Pierrot). Most depictions of the Commedia characters are derived from a famous series of prints of Commedia-like performers, the Bali di Sfessania by the French artist Jacques Callot (1592-1635).

People
Andien de Clermont (active 1716-1783) was a French artist who arrived in Britain in 1716. He was the most avant-garde and highly-inventive decorative artist working here in the Rococo period.

Physical description

At the centre of the image are two male figures with locked swords within a landscape setting on a stage-like platform. The platform has tasselled blue and gold hangings at either side. The scene has a foliate border with a blond-haired female head wearing a string of pearls at the bottom centre.

Place of Origin

England (painted)

Date

1742 (painted)

Artist/maker

Clermont, Andien de (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

Height: 127.2 cm canvas, Width: 132.5 cm canvas, :

Object history note

Sixteen panels were commissioned by Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore to decorate the 'Scaramouche Parlour' in his house, Belvedere, in Kent. Painted in England by Andien de Clermont (active 1716-83). The majority of the figures are taken from Jacques Callot's Balli di Sfessania, 1621; reproduced in Lieure catalogue de l'oeuvre gray de Callot, 1927, figs 379-402. Also reproduced with accompanying essay in Gerald Kahan Jacqcues Callot - Artist of the Theatre, 1976, pp.9-20. There has long been disagreement concerning the attribution of names to the three characters despicted in Callot's Frontispiece (Lieure 379). Hence P.24-1985 by de Clermont which is based on the frontispiece is descrived simply as Three Figures.
Provenance: Charles Calvert, 5th Lord Baltimore; Sir Simpson Gideon Bart, later lord Eardley; Lieutenant Colonel F. D. E. Freemantle; Sotherbys Monaco 8 February 1980, 124, 2. Purchased by the V&A in 1985.

Descriptive line

Oil painting on canvas, 'Taglia Cantoni and Fracasso' from the Commedia dell'Arte, Andien de Clermont, 1742

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kahan, G.Jacqcues Callot - Artist of the Theatre, 1976, pp.9-20
Lieure catalogue de l'oeuvre gray de Callot,/u>, 1927, figs 379-402

Materials

Oil paint; Canvas

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Men; Commedia dell'arte; Foliage; Landscape

Categories

Paintings; Interiors

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.

  • Copyright: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London 2017. All Rights Reserved