Friday, January 17, 2014

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: Masquerading, 1811

English, 1811
After Rowlandson
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Today, I happened upon an item in the Royal Collection which was new to me, and, since it is "Punch" Friday, I thought I would start with this colorful chromolithograph.

Printed after Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827), the print, published on August 30, 1811, depicts a fancy dress ball. Amongst the revelers, we see a lady magician complete with wand and spell-book, a lass dressed as a lad, and another as Janus, half male and half female. But, center stage, we see Punchinello, and, that always makes for a good party.

And, now, for the amusement of myself and other Phantom-folks...

Why so silent, good messieurs?
Did you think that I had left you for good?
Have you missed me, good messieurs?
I have written you an opera!
Here I bring the finished score -
"Don Juan Triumphant!"
I advise you
to comply -
my instructions
should be clear -
there are worse things
than a shattered chandelier . . .

Your chains are still mine -
you will sing for me!

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