Dark prison with a courtyard for the punishment of criminals (c.1750) by Giovanni Battista Piranesi. (NB: not one of the Carceri d’Invenzione although it is another imaginary prison.)
Piranesi’s etchings of imaginary prisons, the Carceri d’Invenzione, are his most celebrated and influential works but they’re not the only such views to be found in 18th-century art. What you see here are some of the prison settings designed for the theatre and opera of the time, where incarceration or unjust imprisonment was a recurrent theme. Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, is one of the more famous examples, with all the action taking place inside the walls of a Spanish prison.
Prison Courtyard with Figures (c. 1720). Attributed to Francesco Galli Bibiena.
Many of these designs are by various Galli Bibienas, a multi-generational family of Italian artists and architects who included theatrical designers among their talented number. The Galli Bibienas’ prisons lack the invention and menace of Piranesi’s etchings—many of them look as neat and tidy as their designs for colossal gardens and palaces—but I enjoy the dramatic perspectives all the same.
Prison Interior (c.1725–1730) by Antonio Galli Bibiena.
Print depicting the Prison scene in the opera-ballet Cerere placata at the Royal Palace of Jove (1772). Carlo Bibiena (artist) and Giovanni Battista Nolli (etcher).
Design for a stage set: the interior of a prison. School of Francesco Galli Bibiena.
Continue reading “The other Carceri”
The Eternal Idol by Auguste Rodin.
Continuing the delve into back numbers of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, the German periodical of art and decoration. Volume 21 covers the period from October 1907 to March 1908, and the highlight of this issue is a feature on the black-and-white art of Julius Klinger, an artist whose drawings appeared regularly in Jugend.
If you’ve been following this series it’s worth noting that volume 3 which is missing from the collection at the Internet Archive can be found at the University of Heidelberg. I would have featured it here but it turns out to be surprisingly dull compared to the other early editions. As before, anyone wishing to see these samples in greater detail is advised to download the entire number at the Internet Archive. There’ll be more DK&D next week.
Continue reading “Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #21”
Turin exposition poster by Leonardo Bistolfi.
Part two of a two-part skate through the contents of volume 10 of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, the German periodical of art and decoration. In addition to the Heinrich Vogeler feature which was the subject of yesterday’s post, this edition includes articles on the Prima Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte Decorativa Moderna in Turin—another international showcase for the Art Nouveau style—and a feature on the Viennese Secession exhibition of the same year. This latter piece was especially fascinating when seeing such a notable event reported for the first time. There’s more about that below. This volume also includes a piece on the Glasgow Arts and Crafts movement but the photos for that piece are poor quality. As before, anyone wishing to see these samples in greater detail is advised to download the entire volume at the Internet Archive. There’ll be more DK&D next week.
A feature on dress design shows some rare examples of Art Nouveau style being applied to clothing.
Continue reading “Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #10: Turin and Vienna”