Saturday, October 17, 2009

Meissen, J. J. Kaendler Punchinello Figure

19. Germany, Meissen, J.J. Kaendler, figure of Punchinello, hard paste porcelain, 1740.
Kändler designed a series of porcelain of figures representing the characters from the commedia dell'arte, a popular theatre form in Europe from 1500-1700. The commedia dell'arte derives from the Italian set of stock characters and situations that date back to Roman times. Harlequin, Scaramouche, Columbine, Il Dottore, and Punchinello were well known to audiences of the time. This figure is Punchinello, the hook nosed, humpback trickster, a brutal, vindictive, and deceitful character, always at odds with authority. This character has its roots in Roman theater as a clown and would later evolve into Punch of the Punch and Judy show. The porcelain figure is glazed, and then painted and fired with overglazes and lusters. These figures were used as ornaments for centerpieces at the dining table, or as decorative objects.See notes on German hard paste porcelain in this blog.

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