I ‘numeri’ delle comiche italiane del Settecento. Primi appunti
Preamble and stimulus to more systematic investigations, the paper proposes an initial review of the actresses demography in Italy in the 18th century. Beyond its significant quantitative impact, the female component is significant above all because it attests the persistence of that mixture of different performative languages which is the distinctive feature of the Commedia dell’Arte, and that – not yet overwhelmed by the sectoral progress of professional skills –, is still visible in the 18th century. From a preliminary anagraphic survey, and through the sieve of exemplary events (like that of many actresses, as the Medebach and Marliani, Passalacqua and Rosina Costa, Teresa Gandini; Maria Donati, Antonia D’Arbes, Teodora Ricci and her sisters, Faustina Tesi), it emerges clearly the phenomenon of actresses who build their professionalism even as acrobats, dancers, singers and even businesswomen: this phenomenon is a particularly eloquent, when compared to a historical and legal context in which the capacity deficit (that excluded women from the public sphere and from holding officia and munera) had the full force of law and in which the status of ‘owner’ collided with that of minus habens. In short, new legal and artistic identities are asserting on the Italian scene of 18th century.
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