A Street Show in Paris

Harlequin and Crispin are seen duelling on a simple stage. They are characters from the 'commedia dell'arte', a popular form of comic theatre that originated in Italy. Street theatre was popular in 18th-century Paris. The trees in this picture form a arch which makes the spectators as much a spectacle as the show itself.

A picture of approximately the same size, 'La Réunion du Boulevard' (now at Perpignan), may have been intended as a pendant. An etching by Duclos of this picture gives the painter and the date, 1760.

Key facts

Artist dates
1724 - 1780
Full title
A Street Show in Paris
Date made
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
80 x 64.1 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1907
Inventory number
Location in Gallery