Friday, May 24, 2013

Antique Image of the Day: Punch and the Devil

Mr. Punch and the Devil
Print of unknown origins
George Speaight Punch and Judy Archive
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This engraving is something of a mystery. Nothing is known about its origins and it could date anywhere between the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries. The work of an unknown artist and publisher, the print has been hand-colored with watercolors and, at a later date, mounted on card.

The image depicts a decidedly human-looking Mr. Punch as he defeats the Devil (who is quite grotesque and ferocious) by literally kicking his posterior. Long a part of the Punch & Judy mythology, Punch’s triumph over the Devil has frequently been portrayed in art, however, few depictions are as jubilantly realistic.

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