This past week, I picked up a small drawing titled ‘The Happy Child’. It is done in pencil/graphite. I think the child portrayed is meant to be #Cupid. We can see the end of his bow showing from under his robe. He reclines leaning on one arm, while in his other hand is a doll with which he is playing. The idea of Loves’ playing with mankind might be what is being displayed here.
Cupid with toy – graphite drawing 18c/19c
The drawing in an #Italianate style is rendered superbly, with excellent toning/shading. Being unsigned, I can not attribute it to any artist, but the paper informs me that it is certainly 19c if not 18c. The child appears to hold a ‘Punch’ doll from Punch and Judy. The earliest that these stories appeared in England was 1662. Punch is based on the 16th century Italian ‘commedia dell’arte‘ Neapolitan character of Pulcinella – anglicised to #Punchinello.