Name of Object:
Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Museo di Arte Industriale e Galleria Davia Bargellini
Date of Object:
Theatre: c. 1770; marionettes: c. 1750
Artist(s) / Craftsperson(s):
Theatre: unknown artist from Romagna; marionettes: Veneto
Museum Inventory Number:
inv n.701 (proscenium); inv. n.1551 (backdrop); invv. nn.1554, 1555. 1559, 1560 (two pairs of wings)
Material(s) / Technique(s):
Proscenium: painted wood; backdrops and wings: tempera on canvas; marionettes: wood, lead, stucco, wax, stuffed canvas, papier maché for the bodies, different materials and trimmings for the clothes
Proscenium 154 x 224 cm; backdrop 82 x 172 cm; wings 81,5 x 25-34,5 cm; marionettes: height varying from c. 23 to 50 cm
Workshop / Movement:
Theatre: Forlì; marionettes: Veneto
Period of activity:
Second half eighteenth-century
Place of production:
Theatre: Romagna; marionettes: Veneto
During the third quarter of the eighteenth-century the Albicini family from Forlì commissioned this marionette theatre. The coat of arms of the Albicinis' is on the proscenium. The present backdrop and wings show a “magnificent atrium” painted by an artist influenced by the scenography culture of the Bibienas, especially that of Antonio Galli, who was working at that time in Forlì. The backdrop, with its three vanishing points, applies three corner perspective conveying the idea of a space extending behind the visible scene. The theatre has 5 more backdrops and seven pairs of wings, some of which were painted in the nineteenth-century.
This puppet theatre was painted by an artist influenced by the culture of the Bibienas for the Albicini family of Forlì. It is a rare and precious ensemble thanks to the rich equipment of backdrops, wings and marionettes (74 female and male figures, 9 horses and 1 monkey). It was made in Veneto around 1750.
Eighteenth-century: Albicini family (Forlì); beginning twentieth-century: Raffaele De Courten (Florence)
Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna (deposit)
How date and origin were established:
How Object was obtained:
Purchased by the Italian Ministry of Instruction from the Venetian antique dealer Dino Barozzi in 1921. It was originally sent to the Pinacoteca Nazionale of Bologna as an example of Bibienesque art. In 1930 it was moved to the Museo di Arte Industriale e Galleria Davia Bargellini.
Ghirardi, A. in L'arte del Settecento. Architettura, Scenografia, Pittura di paesaggio (exhibition catalogue) (ed. A. M. Matteucci), Bologna, 1980, n. 192, pp.132-133.
Citation of this web page:
Silvia Battistini "Puppet theatre" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2022. https://baroqueart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;BAR;it;Mus12;47;en