I bet you are wondering how our Punchinello mask is inspired by this painting of Venice! Punchinello is a character from the traditional Italian comic theatre which is called Commedia dell’Arte. The character of Mr Punch from Punch and Judy shows is based on Punchinello. Punchinello masks were, and still are, very popular at the Carnival held each year in Venice.
This was J.M.W. Turner’s first oil painting of the city of Venice. The painting is meant to remind us of the work of another artist – Antonio Canaletto. Canaletto lived about 100 years before Turner and was famous for his painted views of Venice. Tourists would buy his paintings when they visited the city to take home as souvenirs. Turner in fact shows Canaletto in the left foreground of this painting, working at an easel.