The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Harlequin and Pierrot
  • Thomas Couture (1815 - 1879)
  • Harlequin and Pierrot
  • France
  • c. 1857
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 11.9 x 15.5 cm
    Object size: 35.5 x 39.5 x 8.5 cm
  • Signature: 'T.C.'
    Inscription: 'BAL MOLIERE / … / BAL'
  • P288
  • West Gallery III
Further Reading
  • At a costume ball two bourgeois, distracted from pleasure by their devotion to business, consult the 'Moniteur Universel', the official government newspaper. They wear costumes derived from the commedia dell’arte which was the subject of renewed interest in nineteenth-century France (cf. Couture, 'The Duel after the Masked Ball' P370). Couture was a great admirer of Molière’s works and the reference to the playwright heightens the satirical allusion of this painting. There is a larger version, signed and dated 1857, in the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia.