Not currently on display at the V&A

Commedia dell'Arte figurine

Figurine
20th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This figurine of Cucurucu was produced by the Meissen factory in the Dresden area of Germany, established in 1706 and famous for being the first European factory to discover the secret of producing hard-paste porcelain. It was modelled after a Johann Kaendler figure of the 1740s. Kaendler (1706-1775) was the talented sculptor who worked for Meissen, specialising in figures, groups, and wonderfully modelled wreaths of flowers, clusters of fruit and swinging cupids, executed in the round.

Kaendler modelled this figure after an etching by Jacques Callot (1592-1635) from a series of prints entitled Balli di Sfessania, ca.1622, which show dances known as the 'sfessania', characterised by violent contortions and gesticulations. Callot's etching depicts the Commedia dell'Arte characters Razullo and Cucurucu in the foreground with a performance on stage behind them. Razullo plays on a long-necked stringed instrument while Cucurucu dances. The museum owns the pair to this figure, that of Razullo (S.887-1981).

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleCommedia dell'Arte figurine (generic title)
Materials and techniques
Glazed porcelain
Brief description
Polychrome glazed figurine of Cucurucu from the Commedia dell'arte, Meissen porcelain, 20th century, after a Johann Kaendler figure of the 1740s. Harry R. Beard Collection
Physical description
Figurine of a bearded man wearing a full face mask with an exaggerated long red nose. He is dressed in a green beret, a magenta short-sleeved doublet with a row of large moulded buttons down the front, over a white shirt with full sleeves gathered to the cuffs, magenta hose and black shoes. He leans against a tree stump, his right arm raised and bent at the elbow, the hand pointing towards his head, his left arm hanging down with the hand turned to his thigh.
Dimensions
  • Height: 12.0cm
  • Maximum width width: 5.5cm
  • Of base width: 5.0cm
  • Of base depth: 5.0cm
Marks and inscriptions
  • Blue painted crown over the letter 'N' (On base)
  • Imprinted '3' (On base)
Credit line
Harry R. Beard Collection, given by Isobel Beard
Production
After a Johann Kaendler figure of the 1740s which was modelled on an engraving from Jacques Callot's Balli di Sfessania' series, ca.1622.
Subject depicted
Literary referenceCommedia dell'Arte
Summary
This figurine of Cucurucu was produced by the Meissen factory in the Dresden area of Germany, established in 1706 and famous for being the first European factory to discover the secret of producing hard-paste porcelain. It was modelled after a Johann Kaendler figure of the 1740s. Kaendler (1706-1775) was the talented sculptor who worked for Meissen, specialising in figures, groups, and wonderfully modelled wreaths of flowers, clusters of fruit and swinging cupids, executed in the round.

Kaendler modelled this figure after an etching by Jacques Callot (1592-1635) from a series of prints entitled Balli di Sfessania, ca.1622, which show dances known as the 'sfessania', characterised by violent contortions and gesticulations. Callot's etching depicts the Commedia dell'Arte characters Razullo and Cucurucu in the foreground with a performance on stage behind them. Razullo plays on a long-necked stringed instrument while Cucurucu dances. The museum owns the pair to this figure, that of Razullo (S.887-1981).
Associated object
S.887-1981 (Object)
Collection
Accession number
S.886-1981

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Record createdJanuary 12, 2006
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