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[P’yetro di Gonzaga]

(b Longarone, nr Venice, March 25, 1751; d St Petersburg, Aug 6, 1831).

Italian painter, stage designer and landscape designer, also active in Russia. He studied in Venice (1769–72) under Giuseppe Moretti and Antonio Visentini (1688–1782) and finished his education in Milan (1772–8), studying with the stage designers Bernardino, Fabrizio and Giovanni Antonio Galliari. He was considerably influenced by the works of Canaletto and Piranesi. He made his début as a stage designer in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala in 1779 and designed over 60 productions in Milan, Rome, Genoa and other Italian cities. From 1792 he worked in Russia, where he went on the recommendation of Prince Nikolay Yusupov, who was at that time the chief director of music and pageantry at the court of Catherine II.

In his stage designs Gonzago put into effect his theoretical principles, which he explained in the handbook Information à mon chef ou éclaircissement convenable du décorateur théâtral (St Petersburg, ...

Article

Elizabeth Allen

(b London, 1731; d London, Dec 18, 1810).

English painter and stage designer. From 1759 Richards was a very successful painter at Covent Garden, London, where he collaborated with Nicholas Thomas Dall (fl 1760–71; d 1777) and Giovanni Battista Cipriani, and from 1777 to 1803 he was the theatre’s Principal Painter. From 1762 he exhibited landscapes and ruin pieces at the Society of Artists of Great Britain, as well as a scene from a stage setting for the Maid of the Mill (New Haven, CT, Yale Cent. Brit. A.); engraved by William Woollett in 1768, it achieved great popularity. Richards exhibited at the Free Society of Artists from 1769 to 1783, and was a founder-member of the Royal Academy, where from 1769 to 1809 he exhibited capriccios and landscapes, and occasionally, early intimations of the picturesque, such as a Cascade at Hestercombe (signed and dated 1770; Stourhead, Wilts, NT). His watercolours, such as Orpington (1768...