Fifty-Three – “Harlequin in the Land of Giants”


artwork number 53

“Harlequin in the Land of Giants” – Cesare Catania – Painting – Contemporary Art


Year: 2017

Dimensions: 100 cm x 100 cm

Technique: Oil painting on canvas




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In the painting ” Harlequin in the Land of Giants “, the contemporary artist  Cesare Catania returns to the character of Harlequin. The latter is intent on playing chasing his head, as is usual for the author a sign of lightheartedness, despite being in a world full of difficulties, the land of the giants. Harlequin is painted in the plastic posture of the athlete that is running, as dynamic and fluid as all the rest of the scene: the foot of the giant in full swing, the bishop is falling towards the ground, the dice has just fallen onto the sand chess board. In the distance a book that unfolds the wings over the scene.

Cultural Background

Many are the reminders to previous paintings by the author. In addition to the charapter of Harlequin, in this “Harlequin in the Land of Giants” we find the same book already present in “Summer Readings” (it’s about the “Theory of Shells and Thin Membranes”, a tribute to Pier Luigi Nervi). Besides, two other objects painted yet in the past by the italian artist in this surrealistic painting are “the white and red chessboard and the bishop” in “Chess”, as well as the recall of the difficulties encountered by the protagonist in this case symbolized by the land of the giants.


Inside the Painting “Harlequin in the Land of Giants”

It must be emphasized that in this work Cesare Catania decides to paint the Giant as almost a photographic realism oil painting, in a clear contrast to the rest of the scene, assuming instead the warm and surreal colors of childhood cartoon realism. The chessboard on which the scene is played is technically made with sand and ground coffee mixed with oil paint, to create the prospective effect of the proximity of the close-up of the picture and the distance of the foreground. The sand used is in fact of variable granulometry, fine in the background, large grain as it approaches the close up.

In the lower right the giant’s ankle, which, during the rapid movement of the latter, is rolled away and is standing motionless on the sand.


To know much more about the LINKED ARTWORKS belonging to the same contemporary painter,

please click on the images below:


“Summer Readings”



“The Chess”



“Harlequins (B Version)”


The Harlequins (C Version) is a contemporary art tapestry made by the italian painter and sculptor Cesare Catania. It's a mix of cubism and informal art.
“The Harlequins (C Version)”


“The Harlequins (A Version)”

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