Coviello ( Italian: Coviello , FR. Covielle ) - masked character of the Italian comedy del arte , the first zanni , the southern version of Brigella . Represents the southern (or Neapolitan) mask quartet, along with Tartaglia , Scaramuccia and Pulcinella .
The name of the mask comes from Iacoviello , a Neapolitan pronunciation of the name Giacomino , Yakoviello Giacometto - that was the name of one of the creators of this mask.
- Origin: former peasant, native of Cava or Acherra (ancient cities near Naples), speaking a vibrant Neapolitan dialect.
- Occupation: servant.
- Costume: wears a tight-fitting suit, but sometimes it can be dressed in simple trousers and a vest; often with a sword and a stick for the beater behind the belt; wears a hat with feathers.
- Mask: red, with a long, beak-like nose; often wears glasses.
- Behavior: always acts by cunning, pressure, clever invention, mind; grimaces a lot, dances and plays the mandolin or guitar.
The mask formed at the end of the 16th century and was typical of southern Italy. An attempt to transfer it to the north was unsuccessful, as it lost its recognition and southern temperament; retaining only its external form, the mask became shameless and obscene. However, she received an unexpected development in France, where Moliere saw this mask and used it in his comedy “ The Tradesman in the Nobility ”.
Among the performers of the role, the actor Ambrogio Buonomo stood out with high skill. One of the most famous Coviello was the Italian artist Salvator Rosa , on the basis of this mask he created his character Senor Formica . It was Salvator Rosa who diversified the role of singing and virtuoso playing the guitar. But the image he created was excessively politicized and did not last long. The drawback of most of the performers of the role of Coviello was that they could not maintain the integrity of the image, often giving it the features of other masks, in particular Pulcinella.
Coviello, drawing by J. Callot (early 17th century)
Zanni, drawing by J. Callot (beginning of the 17th century)
Coviello. 17th century Italian engraving
- A.K. Dzhivelegov, "Italian Folk Comedy", Moscow, 1954, p. 131-136.