Wide view of Venice: Piazza San Marco - Riva degli Schiavoni

PULISINELLA mask

Very likely this is one of the numerous Pulcinella looks in the history of this Commedia dell'Arte character.

Let's just remember that Pulcinella is the classic, beloved Neapolitan character, almost a symbol of the city itself.

Naples = Vesuvio = Spaghetti = Pulcinella.

Pulcinella was born/created in Naples -in the South of Italy - during the second half of the XVI century.

The character was invented by an actor of the Commedia dell' Arte: Silvio Fiorillo, and this etching by Francesco Bertelli is from mid XVII century.

Here Pulcinella is wearing an uncommon hard-top "coppolone" hat - like in a Tiepolo drawing - and has a white mask, but there are so many versions of his way of dressing, that nothing surprises anymore.

In another version of this same image, there is some text added:

"Se una botte vi par Puricinella
Vi può ben dar da bere anco à Cannella."

"If Pulcinella looks to you like a barrel
He can give you to drink also at the Stick (Rod)*"

* Needless to say, the fact of drinking at a "rod from the barrel" (as it is still customary in the countryside) may offer some spurious interpretation ... but it is very likely correct.

Check out the Pascariello character, for another different Pulcinella look!

Etching by Francesco Bertelli: "Maschera da Pulisinella" - 1642
Francesco Bertelli: "Maschera da Pulisinella"
Il Carnevale Italiano Mascherato - etching (1642)

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