L'Auguste and Le Clown Blanc (The Auguste and The White Clown) French Photograph


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Thank you to http://histoiredesarts.culture.fr/hda_front/moteurcollection/id166/figures-de-clowns. They write, in translation:

The Auguste can be recognized by his red nose, a colorful wig or hat, extravagant clothes and disproportionately large shoes.
The white clown is a hieratic figure with a white face enhanced with black. He wears a sequined suit, a conical hat and his attitude is majestic and inspires respect. When they play in pairs, the white clown is superior, even domineering.

The descriptive "hieratic" is interesting since early clowns were often priests.

Also, thank you to http://www.historyofcircus.com/circus-facts/circus-clowns-history-and-facts/. They write:

Whiteface clown was originally designed by Joseph Grimaldi in 1801. It has its face and neck covered with white makeup, mouth painted in a grin, and black eyebrows. His clothes are extravagant and he is a sophisticated character. He has the highest status in the clown hierarchy.

Auguste has his face painted in pink, red, or tan. His mouth and eyes are painted white and his lips and eyebrows are black. His clothes can be well-fitted or completely opposite. His character is that of an anarchist, a joker, or a fool.

The character clowns are parodies of different types like a butcher, a baker, a policeman, a housewife or a hobo. Standard subtypes of this type developed in North America are The Hobo, The Tramp, and The Bum. The Hobo travels and has no luck but has a positive attitude. The Tramp is the same but without positive attitude and always sad.

I estimate this photo to be circa 1950s. Dimensions are 5.5" x 3.5".

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