Italian; Perhaps Cozzi factory
H. without frame 18 1/4 in. (46.4 cm); H. with frame 21 in. (53.3 cm); W. without frame 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm)
Gift of R. Thornton Wilson, in memory of James J. Rorimer, 1966 (66.92)
This extremely accomplished relief portrait depicts the actor Carlo Bertinazzi (17131783). Born in Turin and trained for a career in the army, Bertinazzi became an actor instead and achieved renown in the role of Harlequin in the Italian commedia dell'arte. He joined the Italian troupe in Paris in 1741, and remained there until his death in 1783.
This unmarked relief has been tentatively attributed to the Cozzi factory. The unusually high quality of the modeling and the sophisticated composition distinguish this ceramic portrait from other products of the Cozzi factory. On the other hand, it is completely unlike anything made at Doccia, the other major hard-paste porcelain factory at this time. Thus Cozzi remains a possible place of origin until further information comes to light.