Friday, June 6, 2014

Antique Image of the Day: The Punch and Judy Show, 19th C.

Punch and Judy Show
Hand-colored Print
19th Century
The George Speaight Archive
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Hand-colored with watercolor, this Nineteenth-Century print depicts a crowd of people at a Punch and Judy show. However, there’s a lot more going on in the scene than just the antics of Mr. Punch. We see young Artful Dodgers picking pockets, a curious dog about to take a drink from a man’s pail, and the amorous embrace of a young couple.

Mr. Punch has long been the voice of the people, and here, we see that this unknown artist was aware of the power of Punchinello to draw a crowd from all walks of life. Laborer and gentleman alike have paused in their days to unite—for a moment—in a shared drama of their own.

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