Friday, May 11, 2012

Print of the Day: Three Punchinellos, 1751

Three Punchinellos
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1751
The Harry Beard Collection
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Here, we see an etching of three Punchinellos which dates to  1751.  Can you imagine how a trio of Mr. Punch’s might sound, look and smell?  I think it would be simultaneously delightful and frightening. 

One Punch sits sleeping on a stone—still clutching his cudgel--while the two others stand watching. Now, let’s remember these are Punchinellos.  They’re not just watching their companion Mr. Punch.  They’re clearly plotting something—as one might expect from a band of Punchs.  But, what are they about? The two which remain awake are approaching with a conspiritorial air, one with his arm round his companion's shoulder while he uses a large, pronged fork to steal the unsuspecting sleeper's dinner.  I can only assume that it’s a big, boiling pot of sausages. 

That’s the way to do it.

Printed in 1751, the print was engraved by F.C. Schmidt after a drawing by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770).

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