The Atellane

Some critics trace this mask to "Maccus" character of the Roman people in Oscan farces, a dialect of Campania, because tradition calls Fabulae Atellanae want them born in the fourth century in the ancient Atella, a Roman city in the territory of Capua and Aversa, north of Naples.The Atellane were a very popular type of entertainment in ancient Rome, we could compare them to today's theater vernacular or dialect mostly appreciated by an audience of lower class. Maccus was the kind of servant with a long nose and pimply face, a true ancestor of Pulcinella, a wide white shirt, carrying a half Maccus mask, like those of comic art, his belly prominent, and recited in a voice hen.

The name

Puccio d'Aniello was the name of a peasant of Acerra became famous because of an alleged portrait of Annibale Carracci, whose face was darkened by the sun of the country and a long nose, which gave life to the theatrical character of Pulcinella. Pulcinella has represented and continues to embody the Italian type, still abroad, the character you aware of problems in which it always manages to come up with a smile, making fun of the powerful publicly revealing all the behind the scenes.

Giuseppe Bonito Masquerade Pulcinella

The Comedy of Pulcinella as the commedia dell'arte character of the theater was officially opened with a comedy of comedian Silvio Fiorillo: The Lucilla constant duels and the ridiculous exploits of Policinella, written in 1609 but published only in 1632 after the death of the author.
Silvio Fiorillo, who was already famous with the character of Captain Matamoros, Punchinello probably raises with a character already present in the tradition of the Neapolitan theater. The same Fiorillo inherits this mask from a previous Neapolitan actor Andrea Calcese about which little is known except the fact that he made from master to Fiorillo.

Pollichinelle and Punch

Polichinelle French double gobba.Il name Pulcinella has changed over the years, was once Policinella, as seen from the title of the play by Fiorillo, or Pollicinella. Left Naples in the company of other people like Coviello, Pascariello and a long line of captains and boastful as Matamoros Rodomonte who spoke a lingua franca in the middle between the Neapolitan and Spanish, with Pulcinella.
Silvio Fiorillo landed in the big comic companies and formed the North a Neapolitan version of the Harlequin, the foolish servant, gullible and always hungry for the atavistic hunger of the poor devils.Pulcinella had great success, especially in France with the name of Polichinelle and England as Punch, where he had just dropped a repertoire from Italian comedy. Also in the Pulcinella has changed over the centuries, his mask was light or dark depending on the time, the Venetian painter Giandomenico Tiepolo painted it both ways, but we are already in the eighteenth century. In 1621 the collection of engravings entitled The Dance of Sfessania, the Frenchman Jacques Callot represents his Polliciniello with the white mask, the belly of Maccus became a prominent hump, and often a double hump, as in the French version, other times the hump disappears as in the drawings of the Roman painter of Pier Leone Ghezzi, where 700 is shown with a black mask.

However, the most important collection of jokes pulcinelleschi will remain that of the seventeenth century Father Placido Adriani (Lucca end of sec. Seventeenth-? After 1736). In Naples, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, the fortunes of the character of Pulcinella needs its own space, this is a theater built especially for comedies in dialect: the San Carlino, where they will work known as Pulcinella Petito and Altavilla.
Perhaps the appearance of Pulcinella we know today is that the designs of Ghezzi, filtered through the costume he wore for years the most durable and prolific actor of farces pulcinellesche: Antonio Petito. G.D. Tiepolo Pulcinelli acrobatsPulcinella famousOther Pulcinelli famous, and well Calcese Fiorillo, were:
Fracanzani Michelangelo invented it in 1685, for the consumption of Parisian scenes the character of Polichinelle. Fracanzani was the nephew of the painter Salvator Rosa that he occasionally performed as an amateur in the art theaters with a character he invented, a zany Neapolitan named Formica.
Philip Cammarano (1764-1842), the largest of the eighteenth century Pulcinella. Son of a Sicilian actor Vincent at the beginning of the century wore the mask of Pulcinella and then passed to his son, Philip Cammarano was noted for his interpretation is very popular and pleased that the court of the Neapolitan Bourbons, was a favorite of King Ferdinand Cammarano did not hesitate to call "Re nose", his relations with the court jesters were similar to that of the medieval courts.
Pasquale Altavilla (1806-1872) actor and author of the 800 worked alongside Salvatore Petito pulcinellesche leaving many comedies, some of which are still represented.
Antonio Petito (1822-1876) was the most famous Punch 800, He was responsible for numerous farces pulcinellesche, son of Salvatore Petito, another great Pulcinella, Antonio was almost illiterate, but left the larger "body" of comedy that often pulcinellesche were inspired by current topics of Neapolitan society of his time.
Eduardo De Filippo (1900-1984) often dressed the role of Pulcinella, especially at the beginning of his career. In September 1958 in Milan to inaugurate the season of the Little Theatre staged a successful adaptation of the comedy of Pulcinella Pasquale Altavilla in search of his fortune to Naples.
Massimo Troisi (1953-1994) was himself a good Pulcinella, early career with the theater group "Grimace". With Ettore Scola's film The Voyage of Captain Bash of 1990 Troisi brought his version of the Neapolitan mask on the big screen.