Plan for the Renovation of the Theater of the Accademia Costanti, Pisa. Antonio / GHERARDESCHI NICCOLINI, Alessandro.
Pisan Theater Renovations In Ink And Wash
Pisa, 1798.

Plan for the Renovation of the Theater of the Accademia Costanti, Pisa.

Large oblong folio [64 x 47 cm], (9) ff: title, 2 text leaves (preface and densely written page of explanation, 41 lines written in three columns in a neat cursive hand), 3 ff. of floor-plans with explanatory text in ink and wash, 1 ink and wash drawing of façade, 1 text leaf (budget), 1 leaf tipped in, showing cross-section of five levels (recto) and floorplan of annex (verso). Bound in contemporary quarter vellum and marbled paper over boards, covers rather scuffed and exposing boards; some minor soiling and light waterstain in extreme outer margin of some leaves, but generally drawings in fine condition.

Unpublished, illustrated manuscript prospectus in large format for the renovation of one of the principal theaters in Pisa by the 26 year old Antonio Niccolini (1772-1850), the modern day Teatro Erenesto Rossi, an early project by this important Neo-Classical architect best known for his renovation of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples (1810-16). The work is addressed to the Accademia Costanti, the cultural society with financial responsibility for the maintenance and running of the theater; according to Giannetti and Muzii Cavallo, the proposals were adapted in 1804; their exhibition includes a single drawing by Niccolini for a ceiling design. From this and from the lack of any other documents or references to documents by Niccolini in the Zorzi-Zangheri volume on the theaters of Pisa, we believe the present manuscript to be unpublished and unknown. It is of interest that the general structure of the Pisan building is similar to that of the Teatro San Carlo, if on a smaller scale, and the present manuscript thus deserves comparison with the later project, unanimously considered Niccolini?s most important building, "the supreme example of Neo-classical architecture in Naples." -- di Resta in Dictionary of Art xxiii.88.

The manuscript consists of (1) title,
"to the Accademia Costanti", (2) preface signed Oct. 10, 1798; (3) detailed explanation of various motives for renovation - enlargement of the stage and orchestra in light of modern dramaturgy, creation of annexes and a large number of self-contained rooms for supporting functions.; (4) floor plan of the theater before renovation; (5) proposed renovation with 32 explanatory legends in ms.; (6) proposed renovations of annexes; (7) finely executed ink and wash drawings of cross-sections of interior of theater, with 5-story loggia; (8) ink and wash drawing of the building?s principal façade; (9) budget; (10) tipped in ink drawing of the theater's piano nobile (recto) and the stage (verso).

* Isabella di Resta in Dictionary of Art xxiii.87-88; Giannetti / Muzii Cavallo eds. Antonio Nicolini: architetto e scenografico alla corte di Napoli 1807-1850 (Naples, Electa Napoli) 1997; Zorzi-Zangeri, I Teatrici storici della Toscana, vol. III, p. 75, pl. 2; Emil Kaufmann, Architecture in the Age of Reason, 116.

Price: $23,500.00

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