Clowns of the World

Clowns of the World is website about the different types of clowns around the world.  Click on the links below to view a description of the various types of clowns and a little bit about their history. For more images of clowns past and present visit

Pierrot: When the Commedia Dell'Arte expanded from Italy to France in the 16th century, one of the standard characters known as Piero came to be called Pierrot. The personality of the character underwent a metamorphosis as well. The country bumpkin Piero transformed to play a fuller range of emotions. Reflecting the dilemmas of his audience, he was sometimes lovesick or frightened. His mood and style, poetic in movement, created an empathic touching on deep, human emotions. While the English Mime shows featured wild wigs and reddish makeup, the French shows had their main comic relief character appear in white-face with neat, elegant highlights to accentuate his features.

During the 1800s, the most notable of the French mimes was a Pierrot player named Jean Gaspard Deburau, the son of a Paris theatrical director. He used his acrobatic talents to advantage, adding a new dimension to the character. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Deburau remained a true mime, speaking with only his limbs and facial expressions. His success is a major reason why the romantic Pierrot mime is considered a continental figure today, whereas the more decorated or painted-face clowns are historically linked to England and the United States