Please click on the images to get complete, enlarged photographs of the piece

Back to

 TOP OF THE PAGE     ARCHIVE     NEW WORK     PAINTINGS
Archive - TIMES WINGED CHARIOT     OTHELLO     CABERET     HARLEQUIN TRIUMPHANT
                        PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS AN OLD FOOL     BATHSHEBA     FORTUNE TELLER     ICARUS     
                        ONE MAN BAND     I AM BEAUTIFUL     ARTIS VANUS     RED SATIN     BALANCE OF LIFE

Fortune Teller

Harlequin is one of the oldest characters in the history of theatre, traceable back to ancient Rome and beyond, yet still alive and well, as any visitor to the Venice carnival will see.  Of course, his character has changed somewhat from the lewd, satyr of classical times, through the buffoon Arlecchino of the Italian Comedy, the supposedly invisible sprite of the English Harlequinade in the 18th century, to the clown of more modern times.

 Harlequin has often been used as a vehicle for illustrating emotions which would seem alien to his comical nature, notably in Picasso’s paintings of the Harlequin’s family.

In the Italian comedy he was dressed in a suit made of patches of coloured cloth, wore an ugly black mask, a small round hat and carried a cudgel.  Later this outfit developed into the familiar suit of diamonds and cocked hat and Harlequin became a rather elegant athletic figure.  This Harlequin, ‘The Fortune Teller’ is of this type, made from a solid wood figure inlaid with diamonds of different timbers.  He was extremely difficult and laborious to make.

 Harlequin The Fortune Teller, is reading his own fortune in the Tarot, and has selected four cards. He is looking anxiously at his first card which is the Fool, a reflection of himself, and the most mysterious, enthralling and disturbing card in the pack.

 The figure is made of limewood, inlaid with 78 different types of wood, representing the 78 cards of the Tarot.  The walnut base is painted on the four sides with more cards from the Marseilles Tarot, the most traditional pack, full of medieval iconography and Christian symbolism.

36 inches / 92 cm high

To be the First

To be advised of 
Newly finished pieces
Work in progress updates
New e-books
New DVDs
Special offers
All web updates
Please enter your e-mail address below
This information will not be shared

Ian Norbury Updates