Clownopedia
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Pierrot Clown

Pierrot (/ˈpɪəroʊ/ PEER-oh, US also /ˈpiːəroʊ, ˌpiːəˈroʊ/ PEE-ə-roh, PEE-ə-ROH, French:(pjɛʁois) a stock character of pantomime and commedia dell'arte, whose origins are in the late seventeenth-century Italian troupe of players performing in Paris and known as the Comédie-Italienne. The name is a diminutive of Pierre (Peter), via the suffix -ot.His character in contemporary popular culture — in poetry, fiction, and the visual arts, as well as works for the stage, screen, and concert hall — is that of the sad clown, often pining for love of Columbine, who usually breaks his heart and leaves him for Harlequin. Performing unmasked, with a whitened face, he wears a loose white blouse with large buttons and wide white pantaloons. Sometimes he appears with a frilled collaret and a hat, usually with a close-fitting crown and wide round brim and, more rarely, with a conical shape like a dunce's cap.

Pierrot's character developed from being a buffoon to an avatar of the disenfranchised. Many cultural movements found him amenable to their respective causes Decadents turned him into a disillusioned foe of idealism; Symbolists saw him as a lonely fellow-sufferer; Modernistsmade him into a silent, alienated observer of the mysteries of the human condition. Much of that mythic quality ("I'm Pierrot," said David Bowie: "I'm Everyman") still adheres to the "sad clown" in the postmodern era.

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