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.