Explore Sands, Stock Character and more!

Artistic director Helgi Tomasson sees SF Ballet's 'Don Quixote' as a ballet version of Commedia dell'Arte: a type of dramatic improvisation popular throughout Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. This kind of performance featured stock characters, deception, chase scenes, and physical humor. (Illustration: Commedia dell'Arte Figure, Maurice Sand)

Minor Commedia dell'arte character: sly, adroit, supple, and conceited.

Commedia dell'Arte character illustrations by Maurice Sand  who also wrote two books on the subject.

COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE - Stock characters STOCK CHARACTERS In Commedia Dell’arte there is three main stock characters a servant, master and innamorati. The servants are always part of a Commedia Dell’arte.


I chose this picture to talk more about Capitano. Capitano is a stock character. He is arrogant. He has high status. Events always unfold to show his cowardice.

BRIGHELLA (1570) Illustrating the Italian Commedia dell'Arte, or Impromptu Comedy

BRIGHELLA Illustrating the Italian Commedia dell'Arte, or Impromptu Comedy--- I chose this because Brighella is a character who is a boss of the zanni and arlecchino. Its interesting to see the way the costumes look and differ from other stock characters.

Pierrot and Pierrette - the French versions of Harlequin and Columbine.  They were likable, clownlike figures in a pantheon of other characters known in Italy as "Comedia Del Arte". They had multiple origins, not the least being the Court Jesters of medieval & Renaissance Europe.

Pierrot and Pierrette - the French versions of Harlequin and Columbine.


Arlecchino: servant, wears diamond designed costume, carries around a slapstick…

Punch & Judy Show - origins in 16th-century Italian commedia dell'arte, but now -is quintessentially English (first performance in England was on May 19, 1662).  Punch evolved from the stock Italian (Naples) character of Pulcinella (anglicised to Punchinello) and is a figure related to the Lord of Misrule and other  Trickster figures in the European folk traditions. Punch's wife was originally called "Joan."  Originally, in the tradition of bawdy satire (often political) for adults, the…

The origins of the Punch and Judy Show date back to the century Italian commedia dell'arte, but it is now quintessentially English seaside childrens' entertainment


Napoli Pulcinella, by Maurice Sand, "Masques et Bouffons" 1860