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Robert Honner as Harlequin
Moore, Lillian (Donor)

Prints depicting dance

Theatrical dancers in groups or more than two but not in a ballet or theatrical dance scene

Commedia dell'arte

Dates / Origin
Date Issued: 1600 - 1904 (Questionable)
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZFY Com 1
Commedia dell'arte
Honner, Robert William, 1809-1852
Harlequin (Fictitious character)
Biographical/historical: Commedia dell'arte was a form of popular theatre that originated in Italy in the 16th century. Performed by professional players, often in outdoor settings, it was largely improvised, and centered around stock characters such as the servant Arlecchino, later called Harlequin. Other favorite characters included Colombina (Columbine), Pantalone, and Pulcinella (Punchinello). Some characters wore closely-fitting masks that covered the upper half of the face; others were not masked. Physical action, music, and dance were important components of the performance. Traveling troupes carried the commedia dell'arte throughout Europe, particularly to France and England, where further developments and refinements were introduced. In England, for example, the commedia dell'arte gave rise to the harlequinade, which depicted the antics of the lovers Harlequin and Columbine in mime, music, and dance. In France, the character called Pierrot evolved from a comic servant into a symbol of the alienated artist. Characters from the commedia dell'arte were also incorporated into other theatre, dance, and music forms, and became favorite subjects of the visual arts.
Acquisition: Gift; Lillian Moore.
Physical Description
Extent: 1 print : hand-colored ; 46 x 47 cm. or smaller.
Type of Resource
Still image
RLIN/OCLC: 825771158
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19760328
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 90d6e360-f35b-013b-c64c-0242ac110002
Rights Statement
The New York Public Library believes that this item is in the public domain under the laws of the United States, but did not make a determination as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. This item may not be in the public domain under the laws of other countries. Though not required, if you want to credit us as the source, please use the following statement, "From The New York Public Library," and provide a link back to the item on our Digital Collections site. Doing so helps us track how our collection is used and helps justify freely releasing even more content in the future.

Item timeline of events

  • 1600: Issued (Approximate)
  • 2023: Digitized
  • 2024: Found by you!
  • 2025

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Robert Honner as Harlequin" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1600 - 1904.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Robert Honner as Harlequin" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 13, 2024.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (1600 - 1904). Robert Honner as Harlequin Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (still image) Robert Honner as Harlequin, (1600 - 1904) |author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=April 13, 2024 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Robert Honner as Harlequin