Bustelli modeled sixteen characters from the Italian commedia dell'arte, the lively improvisatory theater that came to life in the sixteenth century. Harlequin was the commedia's principal character, always dressed in a brightly colored suit of triangular patches. Sometimes he was accompanied by Columbine, who played different roles in the plays. Here Harlequina wears the same patchwork costume as her partner. Although some of Bustelli's figures were inspired by engravings, they all have a sense of graceful movement that suggests the artist's firsthand impression of a theatrical performance.