Pulcinella Singing with His Many Children
(Italian (Genoese School) 1667-1749)
c. 1725 – 1730
Oil on canvas
Gift of Samuel H. Kress Foundation
Magnasco influenced many painters with his impulsive application of paint. Here his subject is a jester from the Commedia dell’Arte, an improvisational theater. Pulcinella was the model for Punch in the English Punch and Judy puppet theater. He was cruel, raucous, and promiscuous. Magnasco created a life for him off the stage as if he were a real person. Here Pulcinella relaxes in his humble home surrounded by his numerous hunchbacked children (pulcinellini).