Wide view of Venice: Piazza San Marco - Riva degli Schiavoni

HARLEQUIN in politics

Bergamo getting free from Austria

The French troops under General Bareguey entered Bergamo on Christmas Day of 1796, without a fight, the withdrawal of the Venetian troops had been agreed already.

On 12 March 1797 the Republic of Bergamo was proclaimed, and  a new municipality of 24 persons was elected, and Bergamo was annexed to the Cispadane Republic.

"Chi non risica non rosica" is an Italian way of expressing the idea of "nothing ventured nothing gained", if you don't try (and take chances) nothing happens.

Arlecchino here becomes an improvised salesman of old Venetian medals and insignias with the Venetian San Marco emblem, with no more value at this point. He's doing it in the presence of Pantalone which cannot believe his eyes, how strange this situation is.

"Ordini e Strasordini da vendere a Buon prezzo"

"Concessions, medals and insignias
on sale at a Good price"


Represented here is the revolution that took place in Bergamo on March 12, 1797, when Arlecchino (a symbol of the Bergamo population) kicks out of the city the Venetian Regime - symbolized here by the Pantalone mask - which had been dominating the city until that moment.

Harlequin: “L è pur vagnuda l'ora: va via Galioto!”

“It has finally come the time:
get out of here, you Villain!”

Pantalone: “La xe finìa, aimei, aimei, aimej”

“It is over, ahi, ahi, ahi”

Bystander: “Così cessa la tirannìa”

“Such ends tyranny”

"Chi non risica non rosica": satyrical political printing
Arlecchino in Piazza Vecchia (Bergamo) - colored engraving (1797)
"Libertà Eguaglianza" (Freedom and Equality) is written on his batocio
Allegory of the expulsion of the Venetians from Bergamo on March 12, 1797 engraving (18th century) - Civica Biblioteca 'Angelo Mai', Bergamo - detail

Copyright by Roberto Delpiano 1997-2021 - visit my website www.delpiano.com