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Sebastiano Serlio

Date of birth: 1475
Date of death: 1554
Main profession: architect
Links: Wikipedia (n/a),ceskascenografie.cz (n/a),britannica.com (n/a)

Italian painter and architect who, after working for many years on theatrical problems, Published a treatise on architecture, De architettura, of which Part II, dealing with perspective in the theatre, appeared in 1545. An English translation, The Second Book of Architecture, was published in 1611. Much of it was based on 'he notes and drawings made by Peruzzi study of the works of Vitruvius. Serlio, who had in mind temporary theatres set up in princely or ducal banqueting-halls, described and illustrated in his book three basic permanent sets— the tragic, the comic, and the satyric— which, with their symmetrical arrangement of houses or trees in perspective on either side of a central avenue, had an immense influence on scene design everywhere. They survived the introduction of the scena d'angolo, or diagonal perspective, by the Bibienas, and traces of them can still be seen in the scenery of nineteenth-century melodrama. One section of Serlio's book deals with lighting and with the artificial imitation of such natural phenomena as sunshine and moonlight.


IN: Hartnoll, Phyllis, ed. The concise Oxford companion to the theatre. 1st ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.   ISBN 0-19-281102-9. p. 489

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