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Title Page to the Punchinello Series

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo1800

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

This important drawing is a frontispiece to Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo's series of more than 100 drawings depicting the life and death of Punchinello, a character from the popular theatrical tradition, the Italian commedia dell'arte. The Italian inscription on the tomb-like monument translates as "amusement for the young," a reference to Punchinello's appeal among children. Punchinello is shown contemplating the monument holding a doll in his right arm. The nervous pen work in the contours, especially around the fur cap and muff, is typical of the artist and conveys a frenetic vitality characteristic of the Rococo age.

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