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Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

(b Florence, Oct 31, 1604; d Madrid, July 1657).

Italian painter, draughtsman, engineer and stage designer, active also in central Europe and Spain . He was a pupil of Giovanni Bilivert from 1612 to 1620 and studied with Giulio Parigi. In 1622 he went to Vienna as assistant to Giovanni Pieroni da Galliano and thence to Prague, where he decorated the chapel (1630) with frescoes with scenes from the Life of St Wenceslas and the Life of the Virgin, the Knight’s Hall (destr.; rest. 1853) with ceiling frscoes including Albrecht von Wallenstein as Mars, and he worked on other parts of the Wallenstein Palace (see Prague, §IV, 7). He is documented in 1625 in Florence, where he became a teacher of perspective drawing. In 1626–7 the Medici employed him as military engineer at the fortress at Livorno; here, with Stefano della Bella, he drew harbour and river scenes (e.g. Peasants Waiting on a Quay, Florence, Uffizi). Baccio executed frescoes in Florentine palazzi, and his contributions to the decoration of the Casa Buonarotti include three ...

Article

W. Georg Rizzi

(Maria Nicolao)

(b Bologna, 1675; d Vienna, March 4, 1735).

Italian architect, decorative artist, stage designer and painter, active also in Austria. He trained as a quadratura painter in Bologna, where he was a pupil of Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole. He was recorded as working as a figure and quadratura painter in Vienna for Prince Montecuccoli in 1695, and shortly afterwards for Count Heřman Jakub Czernin in both Vienna and Prague. He soon became a project designer, when his responsibilities expanded to include architecture. Beduzzi’s first project was probably the design of furnishings for the summer sacristy of Melk Abbey Church (from 1701; see Melk Abbey, §2), which matched the European High Baroque style of the building. Later he designed furnishings and frescoes for the abbey church itself (1711–22) although, contrary to common belief, he did not design the high altar and doorway. He initially painted his frescoes himself, but later these were entrusted to his associates, as in the case of the pilgrimage church of Maria Taferl, near Melk, or to specialists employed by those commissioning the work. Beduzzi’s design for the illusionistic decoration of the church of St Peter (...

Article

Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

[Santiago]

(b Piacenza, 1705; d Madrid, 18 or Sept 20, 1759).

Italian architect, painter, urban planner and stage designer, active in Spain. He was a pupil in Piacenza of the painters Bartolomeo Rusca (1680–1745), Andrea Galluzzi (fl 1700–1743) and Giovanni Battista Galluzzi (fl c. 1730–40). In 1728 he was one of a number of artists summoned to Spain by the Marchese Annibale Scotti to assist with the construction of royal projects that were already under way and to introduce an Italian influence in place of the French style that had been introduced by the Bourbon kings. He worked at the Aranjuez Palace with the French engineer Léandre Brachelieu (fl c. 1733–9) and then in 1735 became Director of Royal Works of Decoration. He specialized in quadratura painting and, in addition to his work at Aranjuez, where his fresco vault decorations provided fictive trompe l’oeil architectural settings for mythological figures executed by Rusca and ...

Article

John Varriano

(b Rome, Aug 13, 1616; d after 1690).

Italian architect and painter. She was the first woman to practise architecture whose reputation has survived to the present day. Her father, Giovanni Bricci (1579–1645), was a painter and musician, and her brother Basilio Bricci (1621–92) was himself an architect and painter. The full extent of her activities remains to be explored, but two commissions in Rome stand out. The first of these, the Villa Benedetti (destr. 1849), near the Porta S Pancrazio on the Janiculum Hill, was begun in 1663 for Elpidio Benedetti, agent to Cardinal Jules Mazarin in Rome. The structure if not all of the decoration was completed by 1665. Benedetti was so pleased with the result that in 1677 he published a guidebook to the villa (under an assumed name) giving detailed descriptions and views of the building along with an account of the roles played by Plautilla and her brother, with whom it is said she collaborated. According to Benedetti, Basilio was responsible for most of the architecture of the villa, while Plautilla embellished the interior with numerous allegorical and religious paintings. However, the building contracts and several preparatory drawings (all Rome, Archv Stato) make it clear that it was, in fact, Plautilla who designed the building with little if any creative input from Basilio. Possibly Benedetti was embarrassed to admit that his villa had been designed by a woman. The architecture of the Villa Benedetti, as recorded in views made before ...

Article

Carola Wenzel

[Ludovico] (Ottavio)

(b Mantua, 1636; d Vienna, 1707).

Italian architect and stage designer, active in Austria. He went to Vienna in 1651 as the apprentice of his father, Giovanni Burnacini (d 1655), the Venetian theatre architect who introduced to Vienna the system of stage design developed by Giovanni Battista Aleotti and who produced stage sets in the Florentine–Venetian style of Giulio and Alfonso Parigi and Giacomo Torelli. Lodovico Burnacini was his father’s assistant until the latter’s death and succeeded him in the office of theatre architect and imperial court engineer to Emperor Leopold I. Although he participated in the construction of various imperial castles in the vicinity of Vienna, Burnacini was mainly engaged in theatre design, developing his father’s style of stage settings and becoming the founder of the Viennese style, which had considerable influence on German theatre. Designs for 115 compositions and plays have survived, and many of Burnacini’s designs were reproduced as engravings in luxury editions of the libretti. Holograph drawings are preserved (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib.). They include religious themes, physiognomic sketches, figurines and grotesques as well as narrative illustrations....

Article

Italian, 16th – 17th century, male.

Born 1559, in Castelvecchio, in Cigoli according to the Larousse Dictionary; died 1613, in Rome.

Painter, sculptor, architect, poet, musician.

Florentine School.

Lodovoco Cardi began his studies under Alessandro Allori, and later became one of the most brilliant followers of Santi di Tito. According to Lanzi, he was taught drawing by Buontalenti. He was elected to membership of the Florence academy, following the submission of his painting of ...

Article

E. Feinblatt

[Dentone]

(b Bologna, April 4, 1575; d Bologna, Dec 18, 1632).

Italian painter and stage designer. A specialist in illusionistic architectural settings, or quadratura, he trained with Cesare Baglione (c. 1550–1615). His dramatically lit settings, which display realistic and well-proportioned architecture, departed from Baglione’s Mannerist fantasy and established classical ceiling decoration in Bologna. His quadratura combined a recessed frame as the immediate surround of the ceiling crown, with a substantial, deeply foreshortened frame, which simulates height.

Curti’s first surviving ceilings, at the Casino Malvasia at Trebbo di Reno (c. 1610–22) and the Villa Paleotti at San Marino (c. 1616–22), were influenced by his earliest model, Tommaso Laureti’s frescoed ceiling in the Palazzo Vizzani, Bologna (c. 1562; destr.), which first combined a wall frieze, based on Palladian windows, with a foreshortened ceiling frame. In 1618 Curti travelled to Parma, where he was involved in the decoration of the Teatro Farnese, and in 1623, at the invitation of Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, he went to Rome, where a ceiling in the Palazzo Odescalchi has been attributed to him. In the 1620s and early 1630s he worked as a decorator and stage designer in Bologna, Ferrara (...

Article

(b Rome, 1600; d Rome, May 3, 1672).

Italian architect, stage designer and musician, active in Poland. He arrived in Poland before 1632, being court architect first to King Sigismund III, then to Vladislav IV and John II Kazimir. Between 1643 and 1654 Gisleni was noted at the Polish court not only as a singer and composer but also as a director and designer of ephemeral decorations. His immense though mostly unrealized architectural and decorative oeuvre is chiefly known from three collections: the album Varii disegni d’architettura inventati e delineati da Gio: Gisleni Romano … (London, Soane Mus.); 12 loose drawings (Milan, Castello Sforzesco); and a sketchbook containing his own designs, copies after modelbooks, and designs by other architects (Dresden, Kupferstichkab.; ‘Skizzenbuch des G. Chiaveri’).

Gisleni’s architectural projects were relatively limited in scale compared to the grander early Baroque palaces of the court architects Matteo Castelli and Constante Tencalla. The residences he built for the nobility then settling in Warsaw combined elements of the Italian villa and the north European castle, sometimes reduced to the scale of the small wooden-built house—a type that served for vernacular architecture for two centuries. Churches by Gisleni were usually single-naved, with a wall-pillared interior common in the north, to which new Baroque articulation had been applied (e.g. Brigittine church of the Holy Trinity, Warsaw, ...

Article

Arthur R. Blumenthal

Italian family of architects and stage designers. The architect Alfonso di Santi Parigi, known as il Francia (b Florence, c. 1535; d Florence, 8 Oct 1590), was the nephew of Bartolomeo Ammanati and succeeded Giorgio Vasari as head of the Fabbrica degli Uffizi in 1574. His son Giulio Parigi (b Florence, 6 April 1571; d Florence, 13 July 1635) studied and worked with him, Ammanati and Bernardo Buontalenti. Giulio’s initial fame came from his landscape sketches, his frescoes (1599) in the Uffizi and the Accademia he established (c. 1598–c. 1629) on the Via Maggio in Florence, where he taught geometry, perspective, draughtsmanship, mechanics, and civil and military architecture. His most celebrated students included Cosimo de’ Medici (later Grand Duke Cosimo II), who subsequently engaged Giulio to create numerous stage sets and festival designs for such proto-operas (intermezzi) as Il giudizio di Paride...

Article

Richard Bösel

(b Trento, Nov 30, 1642; d Vienna, Aug 31, 1709).

Italian painter, architect and stage designer. He was a brilliant quadratura painter, whose most celebrated works, such as the decoration of the church of S Ignazio in Rome, unite painting, architecture and sculpture in effects of overwhelming illusionism and are among the high-points of Baroque church art. He was a Jesuit lay brother and produced his most significant work for the Society of Jesus. This affiliation was fundamental to his conception of art and to his heightened awareness of the artist’s role as instrumental in proclaiming the faith and stimulating religious fervour. The methods he used were those of Counter-Reformation rhetoric, as represented in Ignatius Loyola’s Spirited Exercises (1548). His architectural works are eclectic, and his unconventional combination of varied sources led to bold experiments with both space and structure. His ideas were spread by his highly successful two-volume treatise, Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum (1693–1700).

He received his first artistic training in Trento, with a painter who appears to have worked in the studio of Palma Giovane. He then studied with an unidentifiable pupil of, among others, Andrea Sacchi, who would have been the first to instruct Pozzo in the art of the Roman High Baroque, and he followed this painter to Como and Milan. In Milan Pozzo joined the Society of Jesus on ...

Article

Teresa Gisbert

(b Baar region, Switzerland, Sept 26, 1694; d March 1772).

Swiss architect and musician, active in Bolivia. He entered the Jesuit Order and in 1730 was sent to join the Jesuit missions to the indigenous Chiquito peoples of eastern Bolivia, in the Chaco rainforests bordering Brazil and Paraguay. In 1731 he organized the craft workshops in the mission of S Javier and began the construction of the church there. Like all the churches in that region, it is a timber structure with a rectangular ground-plan and a pitched roof. The plan is organized on the basis of five rows of timber columns, with the three central rows dividing the internal space into two aisles and the outer rows defining the enclosing walls and supporting the widely overhanging eaves. These churches were based on ancient Greek models and were adapted to the humid climate and forested nature of the region. Schmid also constructed the churches at S Rafael (1749–53) and Concepción (...

Article

Bruno Adorni

(b Reggio Emilia, Feb 19, 1588; d Modena, Sept 9, 1663).

Italian architect, stage designer and engineer . He is first noted in 1618 and again in 1619 as a designer of theatrical effects for church festivities in Reggio Emilia. In 1631 he moved to Modena, where he worked on the city fortifications for Francesco I d’Este (ii), Duke of Modena, for whom he also built a garden casino (1633–4; modified 18th century) and, later, the villa of Pentetorri (1652; destr.). In 1635 he became Engineer and General Superintendent of Buildings for the Duke, and in 1636 he began work on Modena’s pentagonal citadel. He also supervised the decorations for court festivities, which involved the construction of ephemeral architecture. Vigarani was in addition a successful designer of theatres, building those at Reggio Emilia (1637), Carpi (1640) and the Teatro della Speltà (1654–6), Modena (all destr.). In 1659 he was summoned to Paris to design the decorations for the wedding of King Louis XIV. Vigarani’s theatre at the Tuileries, the Salle des Machines (...