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Pierrot and Harlequin eternal conflict

Pierrot and Harlequin eternal conflict

Mardi Gras. Pierrot and Harlequin eternal conflict. 1888-1890 Painting by Paul Cezanne

Pierrot and Harlequin eternal conflict

Pierrot et Arlequin, or “Mardi Gras” – the picture painted in 1888-1890 by French artist Paul Cezanne (1839-1906). It belongs to the State Museum of Fine Arts Pushkin in Moscow, located in the gallery of art of Europe and America, XIX-XX centuries. The constant conflict between two temperaments – Piero (Italian version – Pedrolino) and Harlequin, traditional characters of Italian commedia dell’arte. As for models, for Cezanne posed his son Paul and his friend Louis Guillaume. Cezanne paints arrogance and cynicism of a quirky and cheerful Harlequin and insincerity of shy and secretive Piero. It seems that dreamy Pierrot is thinking about something else, but if you look closely, you can see how he secretly wants to push Harlequin.

Harlequin. Pierrot and Harlequin by Paul Cezanne

Self-confident Harlequin

White melancholic figure of Piero seems made of plaster. Red and black tights of self-confident Harlequin symbolize the flame on coals. Different Location of colored left and right curtains emphasizes forward movement of Harlequin and a static position of Pierrot.

Like in life – confident people believe in their ability to achieve goals. As Mark Twain said, “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is yours”.

Figures and facial expressions depicted on the canvas are more like puppets. And around them, the artist depicted an appropriate environment. In his work “Pierrot and Harlequin” Cezanne greatly deviates from his usual style of drawing. In addition, he gave expression to persons of acting characters.

The painter uses a wide range of colors. Take, for example, bright costume of Harlequin, which highlights the figure of the hero from the crowd and attracts the viewer’s eye to painted black and red diamond. Incidentally, they perfectly reflect and acute character. Working on the folds of the costume of Pierrot, the master used a gray-green hues, showing himself an excellent draftsman.

The size of the picture – 102 × 81 cm. In 1890-1899 the picture “Pierrot and Harlequin” was in the collection of Victor Chocquet. Then, the famous Parisian Marchand Paul Durand-Ruelit bought and kept until 1904.

From 1904-1918 the picture was in the collection of the Moscow merchant and collector Sergei Shchukin. Then, in 1918, it was transferred to the 1st of the new Museum of Western painting. In 1923 it was merged with the 2nd Museum of Modern Western Painting, and thus was formed the State Museum of New Western Art (GMNZI), in which the painting was before its abolition in 1948. After this, the painting was transferred to the Pushkin Museum, where it remains to this day.

Painting “Pierrot and Harlequin,” Paul Cezanne created a story dedicated to the Mardi Gras celebration. This is the last day of Mardi Gras festivities on the eve of Lent. But in the picture there is not even a hint of Pancake carnival or fair. Here we have only two young people dressed in carnival costumes. It can be seen, they just came out on the stage, waiting for the ceremony.

Paul Cezanne (1839-1906), French painter, with Gauguin and van Gogh, the greatest of the Post-Impressionists and a key figure in the development of 20th-century art. In the 1860s and 1870s he was associated with the Impressionists, but he never identified himself with them or adopted their aims and techniques.

Pierrot and Harlequin eternal conflict

Norwich John Oxford Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Arts