Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo


Produced at the end of Domenico Tiepolo’s life, this sheet belonged to a sequence, now dispersed, of 104 drawings illustrating the life of Punchinello, a commedia dell’arte character who in Domenico Tiepolo’s series came to represent everyman. This sheet, the ninety-ninth in the series, depicts the death of Punchinello, whose recumbent figure is based upon a caricature by the artist’s father that is exhibited nearby. Both the doctor taking Punchinello’s pulse and the one seated nearby have asses’ ears, emblematic of foolishness.

Giovanni Domenico
Tiepolo Italian; 1727–1804
The Last Illness of Punchinello, ca. 1797–1804
Pen and brown ink and wash over black chalk