Friday, June 6, 2014

Mr. Punch in the Arts: An Antique Drawing by George Scharf

Punch & Judy Show
George Scharf
The British Museum
Drawn from life, this pencil and watercolor sketch shows a Punch & Judy show being performed on the street much to the delight of those watching.  In the highly decorative tent, we can see Mr. Punch with his famous slapstick, aiming for a rather frantic Judy.  Scharf’s depiction of the tent is quite authentic.  We can see the evolution of such a Punch & Judy booth from when this was drawn in the 1800’s to a version from 1912 (below).   Since this was drawn from life, we’re led to believe that the booth’s signage, “Our Endavour is to Please” is an accurate transcription of a misspelling on the part of the “Professor.” 

Punch & Judy Booth
The Museum of Childhood at
The Victoria & Albert Museum

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