Arthur Boyd Houghton

Punch and Judy

c.1860

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 356 x 254 mm
frame: 495 x 394 x 47 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1922
Reference
N03620

Display caption

A large crowd gathers round a Punch and Judy show on the streets of London. Houghton pays less attention to the entertainment, which is barely visible, than to the variety of people in the audience. For example, the smartly-dressed child standing in the foreground contrasts with the distracted street urchin next to her. The man in uniform is a lamplighter who appeared each evening to light the streets.Houghton was known for his small oil paintings of vivid scenes of life in Victorian London, which were partly inspired by the eighteenth-century artist, William Hogarth.

Gallery label, July 2007