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Roman Theatre

Souvenir models of the
theatre at Orange

Roman theatres had a very distinctive look. A semicircle of tiered stone seats and a huge wall at the back of the stage. Like the one in Orange, France. Somewhere you might add to your bucket list if you have not seen it before. It is very impressive. I am assuming that if you like model buildings you probably like full size ones too.

The famous architect Palladio, in the 16th century, made plans for building a smaller one, but indoors. He died before it could be finished but his pupil, Vincenzo Scamozzi, completed the job. The stunning result can still be seen today in all its glory in Vicenza in Italy. It is not a model but a real working theatre. Again, something for your must-see list.

But there is more, and a better reason for including it in a model buildings blog. Not only did Scamozzi construct the theatre, he also produced the scenery. It still exists, over four hundred years later. It was installed in 1585 for the very first performance held in the theatre, and is the oldest surviving stage set still in existence.

Through the archways in the stage wall you can see scale versions of buildings meant to represent the streets of ancient Thebes. Not in a constant scale but using a false perspective to give a trompe l'oeil effect giving the impression of depth. The long street in the centre is ( if I recall the information correctly) just 12 metres deep.

This is one of a series of blog posts from our Autumn 2019 travels.

David, November 2019
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