Punch and Judy

Arthur Boyd Houghton (1836-1875)

Oil on canvas


Support: 356 x 254 mm; frame: 495 x 394 x 47 mm

Collection: Tate

Purchased 1922

Reference: N03620

Despite the title, what we see here is not the Punch and Judy show itself, but the crowd gathered in front of it (and perhaps the shadow of the puppeteer behind the curtain, and a glimpse of Mr Punch at the very top). The spectators include the pretty young woman standing on the far right, a boy burdened with a wicker-basket in front of her, a mother and some children of various ages, and some cheeky-looking lads. [Commentary continues below. Mouse over the text for links.]

Image kindly released under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND (3.0 Unported) license.