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Was Commedia dell'arte Performed by Mountebanks? Album amicorum Illustrations and Thomas Platter's Description of 1598

  • M. A. Katritzky


Early modern mountebanks, also known as charlatans or quacksalvers, were commercial travelling showmen associated with the sale of quack medicines and other products. They achieved wide recognition as a significant influence on the rise of professional acting, through their employment of performers to attract customers for their wares, and are frequently discussed in the context of early professional popular entertainment. Many depictions of mountebanks include commedia dell'aite costumes, but it has remained an open question whether some of their shows (as well as some of their costumes) fall within the sphere of the commedia dell'arte. Inconclusive evidence is presented by the relatively few studies which incline towards accepting a significant overlap between mountebank activity and the commedia dell'arte and clear-cut distinctions are routinely made between the repertoire of street performers, and that of the comici d'arte. Richards and Richards concede that ‘mountebank stages … may well have been the breeding grounds of many of the first regular actors’, but repeatedly emphasize the distinction ‘between performers of the trestle and those of the stage’, and are careful to dismiss mountebank stage routines as at the most ‘short playlets’. If the presently perceived lack of detailed documentation concerning mountebank entertainment is justified, then so is the cautious approach typified by Richards and Richards. On the evidence presented to date, it would appear that mountebank performances are at most distantly related to the commedia dell'arte.



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My thanks to Wimbledon School of Art, the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation and Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung for supporting this research with Fellowships. Also to Malgorzata Sugiera, Christopher Balme, Gerda Baumbach and Klaus Neiiendam for inviting spoken versions of this paper; Carol Clark, David Gentilcore, Natsu Hattori, Robert Henke, Ingeborg Krekler, Angelika Leik, Vivian Nutton, Roy Porter, Otto Schindler, Piermario Vescovo, Richard Woodfield, and the contributors to the present volume, for useful discussions; the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbiittel, DAAD, and Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; the University of London (Institute for Historical Research, Scouloudi Fund); British Academy; European Science Foundation. Except as otherwise stated, translations into English are mine. (See also my forthcoming monograph: Mountebanks and the Commedia dell'arte in the Time of Ben Jonson: A Documentary Sourcebook).

1. Nicoll, Allardyce, Mimes, Masks and Miracles: Studies in Popular Theatre (New York: Harcourt Press, 1931); Lea, Kathleen, Italian Popular Comedy, a Study in the Commedia dell'arte 1560–1620, 2 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934); Pandolfi, Vito, La commedia dell'arte, 6 vols (Florence: Sansoni Antiquariata, 19571961); Gascoigne, Bamber, World Theatre (London: Ebury Press, 1968); Taviani, Ferdinando, La commedia dell'arte e la societa barocca: La fascinazione del teatro (Rome: Bulzoni, 1970); Billington, Sandra, A Social History of the Fool (Brighton / New York, 1984); Richards, Kenneth and Richards, Laura, The Commedia dell'arte (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990).

2. McDowell, John Huber, An Iconographical Study of the Early Commedia dell'arte (1560–1650) [Yale University, D. Phil, thesis, 1937]; ibid. ‘Some pictorial aspects of early mountebank stages’, Publications of the Modern Language Association, 61, 1946, pp. 84–96; Phialas, P., ‘Massinger and the commedia dell'arte, Modern Language Notes, 65, 1950, pp. 113–4; Rudlin, John, Commedia dell'arte—An Actor's Handbook (London: Routledge, 1994), pp. 23–8.

3. Richards, and Richards, , The Commedia dell'arte, pp. 2830 and 245. For further discussions of this question see also pp. 17 and 85–6.

4. Gentilcore, David, “Charlatans, mountebanks and other similar people’: the regulation and role of itinerant practitioners in early modern Italy’, Social History, 20, 1995, pp. 297314 (309).

5. Warburg, Aby, ‘I costumi teatrali per gli intermezzi del 1589. I disegni di Bernardo Buontalenti e il libro di conti di Emilio de'Cavalieri’ (first published in 1895), in Gesammelte Schriften, vol. I, ed. Rougemont, F. and Bing, G. (Leipzig: E.G. Teubner, 1932), pp. 259300 and 394438. See also M. A. Katritzky on Aby Warburg and festivals (in a forthcoming volume on Warburg ed. by Richard Woodfield)

6. Warburg, , Gesammelte Schriften, I, p. 423.

7. See Erenstein, Robert, ‘Theatre iconography: an introduction’, Theatre Research International, 22, pp. 185–9.

8. See Appendices A and B.

9. de Francesco, Grete, ‘Scharlatane aus drei Jahrhunderten’, Ciba Zeitschrift, 4, 1936, pp. 1259–78; ibid., Die Macht des Charlatans (Basel: Benno Schwabe Verlag, 1937); Jakens, Claire, The Figure of the Charlatan in the Theatre of the Italian Renaissance (Warburg Institute, unpublished M. Phil, thesis, 1977), Clark, Carol, ‘‘The onely languag'd-men of all the world’—Rabelais and the art of the mountebank’, Modern Language Review, 74, 1979, pp. 538–52; ibid., The vulgar Rabelais, (Glasgow, 1983); Jurina, Kitti, Vom Quacksalber zum Doctor Medicinae, die Heilkunde in der deutschen Graphik des 16. fahrhunderts (Köln: Böhlau Verlag, 1985); Schramm, Petra, Die Quacksalber, Heilkünstler und Scharlatane (Taunusstein: Edition Rarissima, 1985); Kröll, Katrin, ‘‘Theatrum Mundi’ versus Mundus Theatri. A study of the history of fairground arts in early modern times', Nordic Theatre Studies, 2/3, 1989, pp. 5590; ibid.,’ ‘Kurier die Leut auf meine Art…’ Jahrmarktskünste und Medizin auf den Messen des 16. und 17 Jahrhunderts', pp. 155–86, in Benzenhöfer, U. & Kühlmann, W., eds., Heilkunde und Krankheitserfahrung in der frühen Neuzeit. Studien am Grenzrain von Literaturgeschichte und Medizingeschichte (Tübingen: Niemeyer Verlag, 1992); ibid. and Cruciani, Fabrizio, ‘A debate on fairground spectacles and historiography, Nordic Theatre Studies, 4, 1991, pp. 152–8; de Rougemont, Marline, ‘Dall'Orvietano al Grand Thomas’, Biblioteca Teatrale, 3032, 1993, pp. 9–14; David Gentilcore,’ ‘All That Pertains to Medicine’: Protomedici and Protomedicati in Early Modern Italy, Medical History, 38, 1994, pp. 121–42; ibid. ‘Itinerant Practitioners in Early Modern Italy’; King, Roger, ‘Curing Toothache on the Stage? The Importance of Reading Pictures in Context’, History of Science, 33, 1995, pp. 396416; Hattori, Natsu, Performing Cures: Practice and Interplay in Theatre and Medicine of the English Renaissance (University of Oxford, unpublished D.Phil, thesis, 1995); Mimos (issue on ‘Medizin und Theater’), 48, 1996 (authors include: Gerda Baumbach and Maren Goltz, Stefan Hulfeld, Otto Schindler); Schindler, Otto, ‘Comrnedia dell'arte am Josefsplatz und das Phantom der Bibliothèque de l'Opera. Der Mythos des Tabarin und Ms. Rés. 625’, Biblos, 45, 1996, pp. 6192; ibid., ‘‘Mio compadre Imperatore’. Comici dell'arte an den Höfen der Habsburger’, Maske und Kothum, 38, 1997, pp. 25–154; Henke, Robert, ‘The Italian Mountebank and the Commedia dell'arte’, Theatre Survey, 38, 1997, pp. 129.

10. Picot, Emile, ‘Le Monologue dramatique dans l'ancien théâtre français’, Romania, 1872, pp. 438542, (492–6); Holl, Karl, Geschichte des deutschen Lustspiels (Leipzig, 1923: chapter: ‘Das Quacksalberspiel’, pp. 10–); Francesco, , ‘Scharlatane aus drei Jahrhunderten’, p. 1263; ibid., Die Macht des Charlatans, pp. 85–6; Menochio, Giovanni Stefano, Le Stuore overo trattenimenti eruditi [ … ], 5 vols (Rome 16521675), III, 1654, p. 162 (cited in Jakens, , The Figure of the Charlatan, p. 24).

11. Reproduced: Bosch: Schramm, , Die Quacksalber, p. 33; roundel (artist: Giulio Romano): Gombrich, E. H., Symbolic Images (Oxford: Phaidon, 1972), fig. 128 (see also Warburg, , Gesammelte Schriften, I, p. 303); German prints: Jurina, , Die Heilkunde in der deutschen Graphik, pp. 155–66.

12. Heppner, A., ‘Jan Steen and the Rederijkers’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 1939/1940, p. 46; Kitching, Laurence, ‘Die deutsche Wanderbühne in Reval zur Zeit der schwedischen Herrschaft’, Maske und Kothurn, 38, 1992/1996, pp. 1745.

13. Kroll, , ‘Jahrmarktskünste und Medizin’, pp. 176–7.

14. Quoted in translation (from an edition of 1645) in Gentilcore, , ‘Itinerant Practitioners in Early Modern Italy’, p. 308.

15. e.g. Cecchini (1620, in Lea, , Italian Popular Comedy, I, p. 60).

16. For example, decreto conferred on Martinelli in 1599 (see note 34, below); Jonson, , Volpone, 1605, II.iii. 39; Borromeo, Paleotti, Ottonelli and others, quoted in Taviani, , La fascinazione del teatro.

17. Barbieri, Niccoló, edited by Taviani, Ferdinando, La supplica, discorso famigliare a quelli che trattano de' comici (Milan: Il Polifilo, 1971 [1634]), p. 126.

18. de Courval, Thomas Sonnet, Satyre contre les charlatans, et pseudomedecins empyriques (Paris, 1610), pp. 101–3.

19. Clark, , The Vulgar Rabelais, pp. 92 and 97. Further examples of charlatan/actors in Hattori, , Performing Cures, pp. 20–1; Gentilcore, , ‘Itinerant practitioners in early modern Italy’, p. 308.

20. Billington, , The Fool, pp. 60 and 63–5.

21. Fynes Moryson, MS. CCC.94, Oxford, p. 502. Parts I–III of Moryson's (1566–1630) account of his travels in the 1590s were published as An Itinerary (London, 1617; facsimile reprint: Amsterdam: Da Capo Press, 1971); selections from Part IV (MS CCC.94, Oxford) as Hughes, Charles, ed., Shakespeare's Europe. Unpublished chapters of Fynes Moryson's Itinerary (London: Sherrat and Hughes, 1903).

22. For bibliographies and/ or reproductions, see: Schünemann, H., ‘Stammbücher’, Schrifttumsberichte zur Genealogie und zu ihren Nachbargebieten, 2, 1965, pp. 67108; Klose, Wolfgang, Corpus alborum amicorum: CAAC. Beschreibendes Verzeichnis der Stammbücher des 16. hunderts (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 1988), pp. 283321; Kurras, Lotte, Zu gutem Gedenken, Kulturhistorische Miniaturen aus Stammbüchern des Germanischen Nationalmuseums 1570–1770 (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1987); Taegert, Werner, Edler Schatz holden Erinnerns. Bilder in Stammbüchern der Staatsbibliothek Bamberg aus vier Jahrhunderten (Bamberg: Staatsbibliothek, 1995).

23. Felix Platter (1536–1614), diary entry, 3 November 1552. He refers to his album [stambiechlein] again in the entry for 6 March 1557 (Boos, Heinrich, Thomas und Felix Platter. Zur Sittengeschichte des XVI Jahrhunderts (Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1878), pp. 195 and 279).

24. Interfoliated copies of the Antwerp 1564 edition used as albums include two in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich; mountebank picture (p. 188) is reproduced in Jurina, , Die Heilkunde in der deutschen Graphik, p. 128 & fig. 167.

25. Trautmann, Karl, ‘Aus altbayerischen Stammbüchern’, Altbayerische Monatsschrift, 3, 1901–, pp. 5361, 7285 and 132140; Nevinson, J. L., ‘Illustrations of Costume in the Alba Amicorum’, Archaeologia, 106, 1979, pp. 167–76; Use O'Dell, , ‘Jost Amman and the Album amicorum. Drawings after prints in autograph albums’, Print Quarterly, 9, 1992, pp. 31–6; Salmen, Walter, ‘Stammbuchillustrationen als musikgeschichtliche Quelle’, Hamburger fahrbuch fur Musikwissenschaft, 12, 1994, pp. 235–42; Katritzky, M. A., ‘Carnival and comedy in Georg Straub of St. Gallen's printed album amicorum of 1600’ [forthcoming].

26. Hansen, Günther (edited by Asper, Helmut), Formen der Commmedia dell'arte in Deutschland (Emsdetten: Verlag Lechte, 1984).

27. Hallar, Marianne, Teaterspil og Tegnsprog, ikonograftske studier i commmedia dell'arte (Copenhagen: Akademisk Vorlag, 1977).

28. Leik, Angelika, Frühe Darstellungen der Commedia dell'arte: eine Theaterform als Bildmotiv (Neuried: ars una Verlag, 1996), 89, n.231.

29. Ludovico Zorzi, commentary to illustrative supplement in C. Vivanti and Romano, R. eds., Storia d'Italia, vol.II (Turin, 1974).

30. Album of Jacob Heckelsberger, Royal Library, Copenhagen (reproduced: Katritzky, M. A., ‘The Recueil Fossard 1928–88’, in Cairns, Christopher, ed., The Commedia dell'arte from the Renaissance to Dario Fo (Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 1989), pl. V).

31. Les Souhaits des hommes (in De Montaiglon, A., ed., Recueil de poésies françaises des XVe et XVIe siècles, 13 vols (Paris 1855), III, p. 138); Picot, , ‘Le Monologue dramatique’, pp. 492–6; Scala, Flaminio, Il teatro delle fauole rappresentatiue [ … ] divisa in cinquanta giornata (Venice, 1611), II, La fortuna di Flauio Comedia (in Pandolfi, La commedia dell'arte, II, pp. 180–6); Medii, Thomae [ = Tommaso Medio], Fabella Epirota (Venice, 1483); ‘Farce nouvelle d'un pardonneur, d'un triacleur et d'une taverniere’ (in Viollet-le-Duc, , ed., Ancien théâtre françois, 10 vols (Paris, 1854), II, pp. 5063); Heywood, John, The Play Called the Four PP, c.1545 (in Gassner, John, ed., Medieval and Tudor Drama (New York, 1963), pp. 232–62 and 247–8); Braca, Vincenzo, Prime Sautabanco (c.1596); Il ciarlone doe uno che canta in banco [Siena 1546] (in Pandolfi, , La commedia dell'arte, I, pp. 123–30); Marston, John, Antonio and Mellida (London, 1602: Induction); Jonson, Ben, Volpone (London, 1605); Shakespeare, William, Comedy of Errors (c.1591), I, ii, 101; V, 238; ibid., Hamlet (c.1602), Iv,vii,114; Othello, (c.1604), I,iii,61; Coriolanus (c.1608), III,ii,132; Whetstone, George, An Heptameron of Civill Discourses. Containing: the Christmasse Exercise of Sundrie well-courted Gentlemen and Gentlewomen (London, 1582); Shklanka, Diana, ed., A critical edition of George Whetstone's 1582 ‘An Heptameron of Civill Discourses’ (New York: Garland Press, 1987).

32. Moryson: MS. CCC.94, An Itinerary, Shakespeare's Europe; Coryat, Thomas, Coryat's crudities. Hastily gobled up in five Moneths travells in France, Savoy, Italy, Rhetia commonly called the Grisons country, Helvetia alis Switzerland, some parts of high Germany and the Netherlands; Newly digested in the hungry aire of Odcombe in the County of Somerset, and now dispersed to the nourish ment of the travelling Members of this Kingdome, 2 vols (Glasgow: James MacLehose, 1905 [first edition: 1611]); Keiser, Rut, Thomas Platter d.J.: Beschreibung der Reisen durch Frankreich, Spanien, England und die Niederlande 1595–1600 (Stuttgart: Schwabe Verlag, 1968); diary of an unnamed Englishman's visit to Italy (British Library MS. Sloane 682: f. 20v dates the volume to 1610); letter dated 11 March 1602 from the Florentine P. Vinta to his brother Belisario (cited in Lea, , Italian Popular Comedy, II, p. 361).

33. Barbieri, , La supplica (1634); de Courval, Sonnet, Satyre contre les charlatans; Guarinonius, Hippolytus, Die Grewel der Verwüstung Menschlichen Geschlechts (Ingolstatt, 1610).

34. For example, a Milanese oder of state of 1566 (in Hattori, , Performing Cures, p. 22); a Mantuan, decreto conferred on Tristano Martinelli in 1599 and renewed in 1613 (in Ferrone, Siro (ed.), Comici dell'arte: corrispondenze (Florence: Le Lettere, 1993, 2 vols, I, p. 365); Rastel, John, The third booke, declaring by Examples out of Ancient Councels, Fathers, and Later writers, that it is time to beware of M. lewel (Antwerp, 1566), preface: compares preachers to mountebanks; Garzoni, Tomaso, La Piazza Universale di tutte le professioni del mondo (Venice, 1586), pp. 123 and 158; ibid., The Hospitall of Incurable Fooles (London, 1600).

35. The dates in Platter's account conform to the customs of the country he is in. At this period, Swiss dates are ten days behind those of the Gregorian calendar, which had already been adopted in, for example, France.

36. See Appendix A, and Katritzky, M. A., ‘Mountebanks, mummers and masqueraders in the diary of Thomas Platter (1595–1600) [forthcoming].

37. His father Thomas I Platter (c.1499–1582) may have us ed journal records to compile his autobiography in 1572, and his brother Felix I Platter (1536–1614) revised his own student journals in 1612.

38. Their father, Thomas I, was, by his own account, born to the sound of the church bells of ‘Herren Fastnacht’ (the Sunday before Shrove Tuesday), 10 February, 1499. His activities as a Basle school-master included the regular staging of plays acted by his pupils.

39. MS. AXV 7 & 8. ff. 262r–265v (= Appendix A). The fair-copy manuscript of Thomas II's travel journal, compiled during the period 1604–5, now in the University Library, Basle (with his album amicorum), was published in 1968 (Keiser, , Thomas Platter d.J.): Vischer, Christoph, ‘Die Stammbücher der Universitätsbibliothek Basel. Ein beschreibendes Verzeichnis’, in Festschrift Karl Schwarber (Basel, 1949), pp. 247–66. Numerous earlier publications give partial and inaccurate impressions of Platter's experiences: Félix et Thomas Platter à Montpellier 1552–1559—1595–1599. Notes de voyage de deux étudiants balois, publiées d'après les manuscrits originaux appartenant à la bibliothèque de l'université de Bâle (Montpellier: Chez Camille Coulet, Libraire, 1892); Jennett, Sean, Journal of a younger brother. The life of Thomas Platter as a medical student in Montpellier at the close of the sixteenth-century (London: Frederick Muller, 1963). Bibliography: Hans Lieb, ‘Römische Inschriften in der Reisebeschreibung des jüngeren Platter, Thomas, Basler Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Altertumskunde, 1955, p. 53, n.6.

40. See Appendix A.

41. Platter (University Library, Basle, MS. AXV 7 & 8, f. 78r). Real tennis was played in large covered halls free of central pillars, with tiered seating around the sides.

42. Garzoni, , La Piazza Universale (1586); Moryson (1590s, in MS. CCC.94, 631); Guarinonius, , Die Grewel (1610), p. 214; de Courval, Sonnet, Satyre contre les charlatans, pp. 81, 93–4 and 97; Coryat, , Coryat's crudities (1611, 1905 edition, I, pp. 409–10).

43. Rastel, , The third booke (1566), f.(Aiii)r; Whetstone, , An Heptameron of Civill Discourses, 1582, f.(Aiii)v; letter of 1602 (in Lea, , Italian Popular Comedy, II, p. 361).

44. Jonson, , Volpone (1605), II. ii. 1,489, 69.

45. Rastel, , The third booke (1566), f.(Aiii)r; Moryson (1590s, in MS. CCC94, pp. 415, 469, 600 and 631); MS. Sloane 682 f.19r, 13 May 1610; Coryat, , Coryat's crudities, 1611 (1905, I, pp. 267 and 410); Scala 1611 (in Pandolfi, , La commedia dell'arte, II, p. 181); de Courval, Sonnet, Satyre contre les charlatans, p. 94.

46. Appendix B: VI, VII, XVII, XVIII, XXII.

47. Appendix B: XXI.

48. Coryat, , Coryat's crudities, 1611 (1905, I, p. 410).

49. See Katritzky, M. A., ‘The mountebank: a case study in early modern theatre iconography’ [forthcoming in a volume edited by William Twining].

50. Hummelen, W. M. H., ‘The Boundaries of the Rhetoricians' stage’, Comparative Drama, 28 (1994), pp. 235–51.

51. Rudlin, , An Actor's Handbook, pp. 4950.

52. Coryat, , Coryat's crudities, 1611 (1905, I, p. 411).

53. See Appendix A.

54. Henke, (‘The Italian mountebank’, pp. 1314) suggests that mountebanks played an important role in the dissemination of humanist literature by selling, performing and in some cases even publishing short printed pamphlets and anthologies of literary works.

55. Whetstone, , An Heptameron of Civill Discourses, 1582, f.(Liii)v; Decreti conferred on Martinelli in 1599 & 1613 (in Ferrone, (ed.), Comici dell'arte, I, pp. 365 and 395); Coryat, , Coryat's crudities, 1611 (1905, I, pp. 410–2); Rastel, , The third booke, 1566, f.(Aiii)v; Jonson, , Volpone, 1605, II ii. 6, 16, 59, 74, 90–1, 129, 141, 222–3.

56. Rastel, , The third booke, 1566, f.(Aiv)v; early sixteenth-century poem (Les Souhaits des hommes, p. 138); Jonson, , Volpone, 1605, II. ii. 166, 196; Braca, c.1596 (in Jakens, , The Figure of the Charlatan, pp. 106 and 120); Coryat, , Coryat's crudities, 1611 (1905, I, p. 412); MS. Sloane 682 f.19r, 13 May 1610; Scala 1611 (in Pandolfi, , La commedia dell'arte, II, p. 181).

57. Appendix B: I & II.

58. Appendix B: I & II.

59. Rastel, , The third booke, 1566, ff.(Aiii)v-(Aiv)r; Schramm, (Die Quacksalber, p. 37), reproduces a painting of around 1620 in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam which shows a Dutch quacksalber mounted on horseback and dressed in an elegant red suit, accompanied by an assistant who displays his certificates.

60. de Courval, Sonnet, Satyre centre les charlatans, pp. 93–4.

61. Moryson, (1590s, in MS CCC.94, p. 600).

62. Jurina, , Die Heilkunde in der deutschen Graphik, figs. 155170.

63. Henke, , ‘The Italian mountebank’, p. 7.

64. Jonson, , Volpone, 1605, II. v. 1115.

65. Coryat, , Coryat's crudities, 1611 (1905, I, p. 412).

66. Jones, Inigo and Davenant, William, Britannia Triumphans (1638, in Orgel & Strong 1973, figs. 343 and 356).

67. Jonson, , Volpone, 1605, II. 50–2; Shakespeare, , Coriolanus, c.1608, III. ii. 131–7.

68. Medii, , Fabella Epirota (1483, original and translation in Jakens, , The Figure of the Charlatan, p. 59).

69. Early sixteenth-century poem (Les Souhaits des hommes, p. 138); Farce nouvelle (sixteenth century, in Ancien theatre françois, II, pp. 50–63); Whetstone, , An Heptameron of Civill Discourses, 1582, f.(Liii)v; Moryson, (1590s, in MS. CCC.94, p. 600); Braca, c.1596 (in Jakens, , The Figure of the Charlatan, p. 93); de Courval, Sonnet, Satyre contre les charlatans, pp. 98100, 103–4 and 106; Coryat, , Coryat's crudities, 1611 (1905, I, pp. 411–2); Wardens' or Chamberlains' Accounts (27 Nov. 1616, in Lea, , Italian Popular Comedy, II, p. 361); Garzoni, , La Piazza Universale, 1586, pp. 758–63; Barbieri, , La supplica, p. 127.

70. Quoted in translation in Gentilcore, , ‘Protomedici and protomedicati’, 1994, p. 133.

71. Arboro della pazzia, 1568, in Katritzky, M. A., ‘Italian comedians in Renaissance prints’, Print Quarterly, IV, 1987, fig. 167; Franco, Giacomo, Mountebanks in the Piazza San Marco, Venice, 1610, in Duchartre, Pierre Louis, The Italian Comedy (New York, 1966), p. 63.

72. Whetstone, An Heptameron of Civill Discourses, 1582, f.(Mi)v; Moryson, (1590s, in MS. CCC.94, 600); letter of 1602 (in Lea, , Italian Popular Comedy, II, p. 361); Guarinonius, , Die Grewel (1610), p. 214; de Courval, Sonnet, Satyre contre les charlatans, pp. 94–5, 102–3 and 173–4; Coryat, , Coryat's crudities (1611, 1905 edition, I, pp. 410 and 412); Scala 1611 (in Pandolfi, , La commedia dell'arte, E, pp. 181 and 185).

73. Appendix B: XI.

74. Appendix B: XVII.

75. Appendix B: I, II.

76. Appendix B: IV, V, XIV.

77. Appendix B: VIII, IX, X, XII, XIII, XV, XVIII, XIX.

78. Appendix B: III, XXI.

79. Appendix B: XVI.

80. Appendix B: XX.

81. Appendix B: IV, V, VIII, IX, XX (violin); X, XIV, XXI (lute); XII (pipe).

82. Appendix B: IV, V.

83. Duchartre, , The Italian Comedy, pp. 324–5 and 331.

84. Appendix B: XV; XX; and XIII &. XVI.

85. Appendix B: XVI.

86. Appendix B: II, XII, XIII, XIX (violin); X, XI, XV (lute).

87. Grimmelshausen, 's Springinsfeld (1670, ed. Scholte, (Halle: Niemeyer Verlag, 1928), pp. 3843), describes an episode in which Simplicius attracts a large crowd of customers for his wares by imitating animal and bird noises on his violin.

88. See Appendix A.

89. Picot, , ‘Le Monologue dramatique’, pp. 493–5.

90. Clark, , ‘Rabelais and the Art of the Mountebank’, p. 550 n.2 (in translation).

91. Il ciarlone (in Pandolfi, , La commedia dell'arte, I, p. 130).

92. Rastel, , The third booke, 1566, ff.(Aiv)v-(Av)r.

93. Moryson, (1590s, in MS. CCC.94, p. 600).

94. Coryat, , Coryat's crudities, 1611 (1905, I, pp. 410–2).

95. Rastel, , The third booke, 1566, f.(Av)r.

96. Braca c.1596 (in Jakens, , The Figure of the Charlatan, pp. 93 and 120).

97. Garzoni, (La Piazza Universale (1586), p. 761).

98. Moryson (1590s, in MS. CCC.94: pp. 415, 469, 600 and 631).

99. Garzoni, , The Hospitall, 1600, p. 6.

100. Jonson, , Volpone, 1605, II.ii. 70–1; 110–126, 177–194; II.v.2;–15.

101. MS. Sloane 682 f. 19r, 13 May 1610; Guarinonius, , Die Grewel (1610), p. 214; de Courval, Sonnet, Satyre contre les charlatans, p. 103.

102. Coryat, , Coryat's crudities, 1611 (1905, I, pp. 410–2).

103. Ottonelli 1652 (in Taviani, , La fascinazione del teatro, pp. 327, 341, 361, 385 and 504; Richard, and Richards, , The Commedia dell'arte, p. 28).

104. see Appendix B: XVI & XX.

105. Katritzky, , ‘Scenery, set and stages’, figs. 22, 24.

106. Molinari, Cesare, La commedia dell'arte (Milan, 1985), p. 77; Richards, and Richards, , The Commedia dell'arte, p. 86.

107. King, , ‘Curing toothache on the stage?’, pp. 396 and 412. His plea for the ‘open interpretation of images and their contexts’ offers a valuable corrective to methodological weaknesses of the type highlighted by Cruciani with respect to mountebank and commedia dell'arte studies ‘of German or Anglosaxon provenance’ (Kröll, and Cruciani, , ‘A debate on fairground spectacles’, pp. 152–5). Cruciani's criticisms centre on points of view developed with respect to intensive research on very specific and limited groups of documents, which are then granted general applicability for a much wider range of documents. Licenses (Henke, , ‘The Italian mountebank’, p. 9); the gruesome tooth-pulling scene which dominates the mid-sixteenth-century farce Il ciarlone (in Pandolfi, , La commedia dell'arte, I, pp. 125–9), and pictures such as Dionisio Minaggio's vivid feather picture of 1618 of a charlatan holding up the tooth of a client seated in front of him on his trestle stage (McGill University, Montreal, reproduced: Lomer, Gerhard, ‘Feather pictures of the commedia dell'arte’, Theatre Arts Monthly, 14, 1930, pp. 807–10) indicate that some early modern charlatans certainly pulled actual teeth.

Was Commedia dell'arte Performed by Mountebanks? Album amicorum Illustrations and Thomas Platter's Description of 1598

  • M. A. Katritzky


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