Premiere: 1911, Paris
Composer:  Igor Strawinski

We are in a square in St Petersburg, during a fair in 1830. In the middle of the square, an old showman with a puppet theater brings three dolls to life: a Ballerina, a Moor and Petrushka, the eternal loser. Petrushka falls in love with the Ballerina, but she prefers the Moor, who, in a bitter fight with his jealous rival, chops off Petrushka's head with his scimitar. The crowd is shocked at the horrible scene, but the puppeteer shows them that Petrushka is just a puppet filled with sawdust. But when the fair is over and the night falls, Petrushka’s spirit appears above the theater as if to defy his tormentors.

Oil on canvas

Oil on canvas

Oil on canvas 60x70


There are certain parallels between Willem Hofhuizen’s life and the story of Petrushka. Maybe that is why he devoted a number of paintings to the Petrushka theme.