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A modern Pulcinella.
French Pulcinella (c.
1650).
Pulcinella, often called Punch or Punchinello in English, Polichinelle in French, is a classical character that originated in the Commedia dell'arte of the 17th century and became a stock character in Neapolitanmarker puppetry.

His main characteristic, from which he acquired his name, is his extremely long nose, which resembles a beak. In Latin, this was a pullus gallinaceus, which led to the word "Pulliciniello" and "Pulcinella," related to the Italian pulcino or chick.

According to another version, "Pulcinella" derived from the name of Puccio d'Aniello, a peasant of Acerramarker, who was portrayed in a famous picture attribued to Annibale Carracci, and indeed characterized by a long nose. It has also been suggested that the figure is a caricature of a sufferer of acromegaly.[40246]

Ever white dressed and black masked (hence conciliating the opposites of life and death), he stands out thanks to his peculiar voice, the sharp and vibrant qualities of which contribute intense tempo of the show.According to Pierre Louis Duchartre, his traditional temperament is to be mean, vicious, and crafty: his main mode of defense is to pretend to be too stupid to know what's going on, and his secondary mode is to physically beat people.

The Legacy of Pulcinella

Many regional variants of Pulcinella were developed as the character diffused across Europe. In Germanymarker, Pulcinella came to be known as Kasper. In the Netherlandsmarker he is known as Jan Klaassen. In Denmarkmarker he is Mester Jakel. in Russiamarker he is known as Petrushka (however, Igor Stravinsky composed two different ballets Pulcinella and Petrushka); in Romaniamarker, he is Vasilache; in Hungarymarker he is Vitéz László, and in Francemarker Polichinelle, while in England, he inspired the character of Mister Punch of Punch and Judy.

Pulcinella is also the mascot of the Pulcinella Awards, annual awards for excellence in animation, presented at the Cartoons on the Bay Festival in Positanomarker, Italymarker.

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