The Clowns Gallery LtdA registered charityReg. No: 1076724
Joseph Grimaldi 1778-1837
Joseph Grimaldi was one of London’s most charismatic personalities. A second-generation Italian, who became the worlds greatest clown. The Grimaldi’s originated in Genoa Northern Italy. They were circus performers and court jesters. It was inevitable that Joseph would enter the world of clowning. At the tender age of three years old he took to the stage dressed as a monkey. Grimaldi came for the school of Commedie dell Arte ( comedy of art). He performed at London’s most prestigious theatres, including Saddlers Wells, The Opera House and Drury Lane. Grimaldi was the hottest ticket in town. His personal life was full of tragic events. This led to bouts of deep depression in which medical intervention was required. Behind the facade of London’s most popular entertainer, the real tears of a clown were evident. Grimaldi is remembered with great affection, his legacy lives on . A church service takes place annually to commemorate Grimaldi and the gift of laughter. On the anniversary of Grimaldi’s death, clowns gather in Grimaldi Park Islington to lay a wreath on the grave of London’s legendary character. The memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi were written by Charles Dickens. The renowned author quoted, ‘The clown left the stage with Grimaldi, although often heard of. has never since been seen’.