Piero Fornasetti Set of Four Porcelain Commedia Dell'arte Maschere Italiane Plates,
Each plate depicts a character from the Commedia Dell'arte in colour with the name of the character to one side- The Doctor, Columbina, La Cecca & Meneghino.
Diameter: 10 inches x 1 inch high
Mark: Maschere Italiane printed on a black and white Colombina mask over a green German Azberg mark
& #4 for Dottor Balanzone, #7 for Colomina, #10 for La Cecce & #12 for Meneghino.
Reference: Fornasetti: The Complete Universe, Barnaba Fornasetti, Page 615, # 164 for several examples.
Il Dottore or the Doctor, is a commedia dell'arte stock character, one of the vecchi or old men whose function in a scenario is to be an obstacle to the young lovers. Il Dottore and Pantalone are the comic foil of each other, Pantalone being the decadent wealthy merchant, and Il Dottore being the decadent erudite. Il Dottore has been part of the main canon of characters since the mid-1500s.
(in Italian, Colombina, "little dove"; in French, Colombine) is a stock character in the Commedia dell'Arte. She is Harlequin's mistress, a comic servant playing the tricky slave type, and wife of Pierrot. Rudlin and Crick use the Italian spelling Colombina in Commedia dell'arte: A Handbook for Troupes.
Cecca is Meneghino's wife.
Meneghino (Milanese: Meneghin) is a traditional character of the Italian commedia dell'arte, associated to the city of Milan. As such, it also plays a major role in the Milanese celebrations of Carnival (Carnevale Ambrosiano) and in local marionette traditional shows.
Meneghino is in fact a witty servant (and thus a variation on the theme of the Zanni character), but he is mostly characterized by honesty, sincerity and a strong sense of justice. He is usually represented as wearing a cocked three-cornered hat.... In Carnival parades, he is often accompanied by his wife "Cecca" (Milanese diminutive of "Francesca").
The word "meneghino" has become a common antonomasia to refer to Milanese people and matters, as well as the Milanese language itself
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