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Early Modern Stage Sets

Italian
Street Scene for Theatrical Set
1545 - 1555
engraving | paper
Museum purchase for the Paul Leroy Grigaut Memorial Collection
1969/2.72
Francesco Galli Bibiena
Stage Set: A Street Bordered by Palaces
1659 - 1739
pen and brown ink with ink wash
Museum Purchase
1960/2.10
Luigi Canonica
Scenographic Design
1764 - 1844
pen and brown ink with brown wash and blue watercolor
Purchased from the Estate of Edward Sonnenschein
1970/2.100
Luigi Canonica
Scenographic Design
1764 - 1844
pen and brown ink with brown wash and green watercolor
Purchased from the Estate of Edward Sonnenschein
1970/2.101
An intricate series of arches, stairs, and balustrades are presented obliquely.  The deepest recession into space is at the center of the design.  Seen from a low vantage point, the soaring columns and arcades create the illusion of deep space.
Giuseppe Galli Bibiena
Stage Set: Courtyards with Staircases
1696 - 1757
ink and wash
Museum Purchase
1957/2.2
Giuseppe Valeriani
Stage Set: A Palace Hall with a Doorway
1751 - 1760
pen and brown ink with ink wash | paper
Museum Purchase
1960/2.12
Lorenzo Quaglio, The Elder
Stage Design: A Garden Setting
1748 - 1758
pen and gray ink with watercolor | paper
Museum Purchase
1963/2.23
Italian
Stage Design: A Loggia Near a Fortress
1800 - 1825
pen and brown and black inks with gray ink wash | paper
Museum Purchase
1963/2.34

Stage set design amplified and idealized the early modern obsession with classical design, creating dramatic settings for 16th and 17th century performances of classical or classically-inspired stories. Early modern set designers, like the ones showcased in this collection, were interested in creating spaces which would give great visual depth to each scene and frame dramatic action with impressive, almost otherworldly grandeur.

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Last Updated

January 17, 2019 10:22 a.m.

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