«THE THEATRE ILLUSION. Exhibition Devoted to the 200th Anniversary of the Gonzaga Theatre»


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The exhibition «The Theatre Illusion», devoted to the 200th anniversary of the Gonzaga Theatre in Arkhangelskoye, is open from August 8 at the Main Building of the A.A. Bakhrushin Theatre Museum.

The Gonzaga Theatre was created by the Italian artist and decorator Pietro di Gottardo Gonzago /Gonzaga/ /1751 – 1831/, on request of the estate owner, the Prince Nikolai Yusupov /1750-1831/, and today it is one of the few ancient theatres in the world not affected by late reconstructions.

Gonzaga was an outstanding theatrical designer, the first theatrical artist in the modern sense of this word. He came to Russia at the invitation of the Prince Nikolai Yusupov and created set designs for many performances in the imperial theatres. Italian artist also managed to realize his architectural talent: in 1810 the Prince Yusupov acquired the Arkhangelskoye estate and delegated the theatre project to Pietro Gonzaga.

The exhibition name includes various interpretations of the concept of «an illusion». According to Pietro Gonzaga, the theatre’s goal is to create an impressive illusion, «a joy of illusion». In addition, over time, the famous performance of the decorations by Gonzaga turned into a legend. N. Kudryavtseva, exhibition curator, said that «many people heard about a ghost theatre, but few people saw, and it became another illusion».

The exhibition is divided into two broad thematic sections: 1- Yusupov and Gonzaga and the theatrical culture of the late 18th century and the first third of the 19th century, and 2- Gonzaga’s Theatre in Arkhangelskoye. The first room introduces Prince Yusupov, a talented theatrical producer who organized a home theatre and formed a serf company. The exhibition features a Yusupov’s portrait, portraits of serf actors, illustrated albums with images of the actors and theatres, rare books including unique editions from Yusupov’s library, libretto, gusli, materials for the famous Italian opera house in Moscow, drawings by artists Bibiena and Valeliani, drawings of the future theatre in Arkhangelskoye, an architectural model of the theatre /2011/ and other documents from the estate funds.

The second room is dedicated to the theatre built by Pietro Gonzaga. There will be color graphics with Gonzaga’s designs, elements of the theatrical machinery and props, stage lamps, wall lamps from the auditorium, a portrait of Alexander I, theatrical programs, photos. All the exhibits, including graphics and rare books, are original. An engraving made by Giovanni Piranesi from the archive of the Bakhrushin Theatre Museum is also displayed at the exhibition.

The exhibition is organized by the A.A. Bakhrushin Theatre Museum together with the Arkhangelskoye State Museum Estate.

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115054, г. Москва

ул. Бахрушина, д. 31/12 стр. 1

ст. м. «Павелецкая»

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С 21 марта 2022 года Главное здание

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