Albert Fratellini (1886 – 1961)
Albert Fratellini was born in Moscow to the Fratellini circus family. He and his brothers, Paul and Francois, trained in Russia under one of the Durov brothers. The Fratellini brothers entree lasted 45 minutes. They performed at the Cirque Medrano where many classic routines were developed. A frequent visitor to the Fratellini dressing room was artist Pablo Picasso. Fratellini has been described as a “superb comic actor.”
He is most likely responsible for the American Auguste as we know it today. His make-up style influenced many well known augustes, most prominently, Lou Jacobs. He single-highhandedly redefined the role of the auguste, and introduced the use of the red nose that is now associated with clowning. His actions were outlandish and crazy. The Fratellinis were honored by the President of France while at the Cirque Medrano, and Albert was one of the country’s best known clowns in history.