Isabella and Octavio – characters from the Commedia dell’arte

Franz Anton Bustelli
Neudeck-Nymphenburg Porcelain Factory
c. 1760
Hard-paste porcelain
H. 19.7 cm and 19.2 cm
Gallery 95
Inventory Number
77/50, 77/51
Acquired at the auction of the collection Edmé Rothschild in 1977


The sixteen comedy figures by the Nymphenburg modeller Franz Anton Bustelli are among the most beautiful porcelain figurines of the Rococo period. The highly gracefully composed and expressively modelled figurines tell a turbulent love story that goes back to the Commedia dell'arte, the Italian impromptu theatre. The focus here is on the beautiful Isabella and the elegant Octavio. Isabella is visibly torn as to whether she should give in to the gallant's courtship. The thumb and forefinger of her right hand form a ring in a clear gesture that she does not want a brief flirtation but marriage.A complete and exquisitely painted ensemble of comedy figures dating back to the Bustelli period can only be found at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum.

You can also find this object in the online collection

To the Object

More Objects