is a stock
and Commedia dell'Arte
, a French variant
of the Italian Pedrolino
. His character is
that of the sad clown, pining for love of Columbine
, who inevitably breaks his heart and
leaves him for Harlequin
. He is usually
depicted wearing a loose, white tunic. The noticeable feature of
Pierrot's behaviour is his naïveté
, he is seen as a fool, always the
butt of pranks, yet nonetheless trusting. Pierrot is also portrayed
as moonstruck, distant and oblivious to reality.
One may be said to be Pierroting
if one is behaving like
The French version of the character was fashioned by Jean-Gaspard Deburau
(1796-1846). He is
the protagonist of the famous French folk song, "Au Clair de la Lune
"Pjerrot", the character is a fixture at Bakken, the world's
oldest amusement park in Denmark.
to Bakken publicity, the character is more than 4,000 years old,
and originated in Turkey (known as
It is also claimed that in ancient times,
the broad red mouth of the character was created by physically
the mouth to make it
The 20th century Russian cabaret singer Alexander Vertinsky
was famous for his
portrayal of Pierrot, for which he wore a black costume and
powdered his face.
Alexander Vertinsky as Pierrot
- And lo, in that dawn he was pierroting over,
- Swinging in spirals round the fresh breasts of
From the posthumously published poem "The Moth That God Made Blind"
by Hart Crane
- The American poet Ralph Chaplin
wrote a series of poems collectively titled "Maybe Pierrot", in
which Pierrot is used to symbolize an idealistic artist unable to
fight the world's injustices.
- Langston Hughes authored short
poems entitled Pierrot and
A Black Pierrot.
- The American modernist poets Wallace
Stevens and Sara Teasdale both
wrote poems titled "Pierrot", referring to the fin-de-siècle
Pierrot lunaire figure
- Pierrette is Pierrot's pantomime counterpart: Pierrette is the
lovable little French pantomime figure, dressed usually in a ballet
skirt and bright peasant waistcoat and smart cocked hat. She and he
were popular in street and carnival shows. She is a tender-hearted
and wise little foil for the Pierrot who plays opposite her in
fanciful and delightful whimsical stories. Her name suggests a
spirit loving, tender, comforting, but saucy, gay, and smart. i.e.
" A charming little Pierrette of a daughter." quoted from Rodale's
Phrase Finder, Rodale Press 1957
- Yellow Magic Orchestra's
debut album contains a track titled "Mad Pierrot".
- Ali Campbell's 2009 album 'Flying
High' (ex lead singer from UB40) contains a track called 'Nothing
Ever Changes (Pierrot)' and contains the lyrics, 'Nothing Ever
Changes...Pierrot Dances On....'.
- David Bowie wore a Pierrot costume
for both the sleeve of his album Scary Monsters and
the video for the single "Ashes to Ashes".
- The video for Robots in
Disguise single The Tears is
based on the story surrounding Pierrot.
- Leo Sayer dressed as Pierrot on tour
following the release of his first album, Silverbird.
- Novembre, a progressive metal band from
Italy, has a song called "Come Pierrot" ("Like Pierrot") on the
Novembrine Waltz album.
- The Japanese pop band Berryz
Koubou's song "Kokuhaku no
Funsui Hiroba" features the lyric "I am Pierrot" in reference
to a girl who has just confessed her love and, having not yet
received an answer, imagines the worst.
- Los Hermanos, a rock band from
Brazil, has a song called "Pierrot" on the debut album, Los
- Brindis por Pierrot (Cheers for Pierrot) is
an album of the Uruguayan songwriter/singer Jaime Roos. The song is
also present on the album "Amor Rioplatense" by the Uruguayan Murga
band "Falta & Resto" .
- Pierrot is a popular character of Uruguayan Carnaval, as well
- "Pierrot" is a song by Lee Hyun Do
and is featured in the rhythm video game
Pump It Up.
- The song "The Carnival Is Over" by Australian band The Seekers features the lines "But the joys of
love are fleeting / For Pierrot and Columbine."
- English rock band Placebo's album
Meds contains a track called "Pierrot the Clown", including the lyrics
"I'll be wallowing in sorrow/Wearing a frown, like Pierrot the
clown". "When I Dream, I dream your fist"
- Pierrot was a Japanese rock band
active from 1994-2006.
- Japanese musician Közi often wore a
pierrot costume while a member of the visual rock band MALICE MIZER
- Argentine band Sui Generis mentions
Pierrot in their song "Gaby"
- Pierrot is a class in Golden Sun 2
acquired by equipping a certain item.
- Cult London boutique Tatty Devine created a range of Jewellery
inspired by Pierrot.
- In the literary magazine
The Savoy from the 1890s, a
Beardsley drawing was often printed
on the back cover featuring a mischievous pierrot in place of the
traditional hero Bellerophon on the back
of the winged horse Pegasus.
- Neil Gaiman's short story "Harlequin
Valentine" features a Pierrot or "Petey" character.
- In the Morganville Vampires series book four Feast of Fools
written by Rachel Caine. The main character Claire dresses as
Harlequin and her vampire friend Myrnin dresses as Pierrot for a
- The anime series Yakitate!! Japan features a character named
- Cowboy Bebop twentieth episode is
called "Pierrot le Fou", and references both the character and
- Rintaro's segment of the anime triptych Neo-Tokyo ("Labyrinth") features
a somewhat sinister clown who resembles some representations of
- In the anime series, "D-Gray Man", the main character, Allen
Walker, is depicted as, "...the pierrot who will cause the akuma to
- In Cirque du Soleil's
production of La Nouba, there are two
characters, both with a Pierrot name- La Pierrot Rouge and the
- David Bowie's portrayal provided inspiration for a character in
the TV series Ashes to
- "Like A Pierrot" is a unicycle challenge course on the popular
Japanese show Unbeatable Banzuke. It
should be noted that a word for clown in Japanese is "pierrot," and
this Pierrot reference is more likely to a regular circus clown
than a Commedia Del'Arte Pierrot figure.