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


... and a charlatan, of course

A public entertainment which has always been very appreciated in Venice, was the puppet show.

The charlatan was hidden in the box and making the puppets' voices so real, with some kind of instrument he was keeping in his mouth, it seemed they were talking for real.

During the week the show was in St. Mark's Square, but when festivities came, this small structure was going to make the show in the nearby villages, always receving public, money and success.

The more known in this art were a certain Paglialonga and Borgogna, who were competing with each other.

The puppets were sometimes called Pulcinella, Arlichino, Zampicone, Turco (the mean enemy of those times), Soldaro (soldier, the good guy), Padrona (the rich lady, the one that orders all the servants around), Marcolfa (the female servant) and Francischina.

A sort of replica, with puppets, of the Commedia dell’Arte shows, I would say.

Giovanni Grevembroch: "Giuocatore di Buratini"
(The Puppet Show player)
pen, ink & watercolor (18th century)
Museo Correr, Venezia

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