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Drawing Commedia dell’Arte

Date published: 27 Feb 2015

Posted by: Joe Pick

Drawing of Masks

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It was Commedia dell’Arte Day on Wednesday the 25th of February and people around the world, from America to Israel, celebrated at events, performances and workshop. City Arts was lucky to play host to an all-day drop in and draw session run by the incredible Stephen Jon.

Commedia dell’Arte, which can be loosely translated to ‘comedy of craft’, is a form of improvised masked theatre which originated in 16th century Italy. Commedia dell’Arte characters usually represent fixed social types such as foolish old men, devious servants, or military officers full of false bravado. The theatre style has provided inspiration for artists including Jaques Callot, Picasso and David Hockney.

These photos show some of the work produced on the day. Stephen and friends posed for the visiting sketchers in a variety of his wondeful handmade Commedia style masks. Stephen introduce attendees to drawing games and tricks helping them to access some of the anarchy, humour and grotesquery of the theatrical form.