1721. Oil on canvas. Louvre, Paris, France. Read Note.
Commedia dell’arte, Italian popular character comedy, in which masked actors improvised on a traditional plot. Its main characters came to be fixed into farcical types: Mezzetin was an amorous valet who frequently engaged in the pursuit of unrequited love. Harlequin (Italian Arlecchino, French Arlequin) was a mixture of childish ignorance, wit and grace, always in love and in trouble, easily despairing, easily consoled. Some other characters were Pierrot, Scapin, and Columbine.
See: Jean-Antoine Watteau. Arlequin, Pierrot and Scapin. Mezzetin. Italian Comedians. Happy Pierrot.