The Harlequins of the commedia dell'arte with their histrionic gestures, exaggerated facial expressions and bizarre movements are very much in keeping with Joachim Kaendler`s predilection for dynamic sculptures. At the same time they reflect the enthusiasm of Augustus III for the commedia dell'arte. In 1737 he engaged a new troupe of actors in Venice who came to Dresden in 1738 and gave performances on the occasion of the festivities for the quinqennial jubilee of the coronation of the Saxon Elector as King of Poland and at the socalled Sicillian wedding of Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony and the King of Sicily. At that time court society took great delight in the numerous comedies of errors, amorous adventures, and the coarse pranks of the Harlequins. Kaendler created various versions of these buffons. A singing Harlequin and one who uses the pug's tail as the handle of a hurdy-gurdy are particularly vociferous, while another smilingly threatens the audience with his fool's wamd amd yet another is represented as a drunkard with a wine jug.


  • Title: Three Harlequins
  • Date Created: 1738 - 1740
  • Modeller: Johann Joachim Kaendler
  • Collection: Porzellansammlung (Porcelain Collection)
  • Type: Porcelain
  • Rights: Porzellansammlung, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Photograph: Jürgen Karpinski
  • External Link: http://www.skd.museum/

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