The Name Pierrot is a nickname or shortened version of the name Peter or Italian Pedronlini .The renowned Pierrot character of The Commedia Del Arte originated in the late 1600s with a troupe of Italian players called the Comedie-Itallenne who were at the time performing in Paris . Today the Pierrot Character is more famous in modern day culture with films ,art,books and poetry portraying him as the sad clown who pines for his love Columbine .The Columbine character usually laughs at his advances and couples with the Harlequin .
The costume of the Pierrot character is always white to symbolise his innocence , it consists of a loose blouse with overly large buttons and pantaloons .His face is always unmasked but covered in white and occasionally he will wear a frilled collar and hat, although since his reincarnation under the famous actor Jean -Gaspard Deburau he wears neither , just the iconic small black skullcap.It was also during this time that the Pierrot became mute due to the fact that the theatre Jean worked in was only licensed for mime and acrobatics .
The major characteristics of the Pierrot is that he is part of the Zanni family of clowns but from the lowliest peasant stock and has neither the cunning or charm of the rest of the clowns .He is a fool ,naive and always the butt of jokes in the Commedia Del Arte but still completely trusting . a buffoon who is always on the periphery of the action giving what he believes is wisdom and advice but the rest of the characters think is nonsense and ridiculous.
In the 1800s the public and many romantic bohemian artists had developed a deep sympathy for this dejected character and turned him from a fool into a version of themselves , a figure alienated and innocent struggling to fit into the strict world of "eat or be eaten".His frustrated and futile pursuit of Columbine combined with his isolated ,out of touch and complete naivete of the world ensured he was lifted from the Commedia Del Arte and into the lager world of Myth.
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