History of Commedia dell'Arte 

The "Commedia dell'Arte" was born in Italy in the middle of the 16th century. For the first time in European history professional actors from regularly constituted companies performed. They would travel from town to town, presenting shows in the public squares, improvising all their own dialog, within a framework provided by a set called "scenario". This type of theater was also called "Maschere" (masks) because the actors performed in masks. At first the masks,horribly grottesque, were used to hide the actor and emphasize the character. Typical characters would be the old miser, the idiotic servant and so on. Over the years masked characters increased and Arlecchino, Pantalone and Pulcinella were written into many very popular commedies.
Here you can find these old characters, dolls  made with paper mache , teracotta and porcelaine, hand painted with non-toxic colors  and bronze sculptures. 

Homme ] commediacharacters ]