The Fool


Oil on canvas

83 x 71 cm

The silhouette and features of a man seen from behind are outlined against a black background. His diamond-patterned satin suit and dynamic pose, as if he were dancing, make him look like a Harlequin in the middle of a performance.

The work evinces Michaël Borremans’ passion for commedia dell'arte, which is found not in laughter but in extreme acting put into painting. This Harlequin has none of the mischievousness proper to his character’s personality. He looks pensive, melancholic and lost in the dark, enigmatic background.

Borremans' The Fool was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the 2009 "Mapping the Studio" show at the Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi in Venice.