From the sixteenth century until well into the eighteenth century, the comedia dell'arte, a popular Italian type of improvised comic theatricals, cast its spell on a large and diverse audience. Here an exuberant joy of living was reflected in a protrayal of all aspects of life exaggerated with pomposity and humour. No medium was better suited than precious porcelain to immortalise the vivacious performance of the comedians on the stage, let alone surpass their exaltation. No other subject produced a similar symbiotic relationship between the downright expressionist sculptures executed by the porcelain modellers and their heightening with brilliant colours by the porcelain painters in their astounding depiction of the costumes. Still today, these 'luxurious creatures' enthral the observer with the splendour of the Baroque, with that particular 'joie de vivre' of a grand ?poche. Delighted, we enter a bygone world where to enjoy life was the highest good.