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''The Adventure of the Curtain''

 

Paul Oertel (1859-1897)Sketch of the curtain for the celebration of 25°anniverary of proclamation to emperor of Guglielmo I (1896)Kassel, Königliches TheaterDistemper on paper, 35,7 x 55,8 cmCologne, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft der UniversitätThe text of Morpurgo was used often, in scenography, as an iconographical font.The notable examples are those subordinated to Джозеф Свобода.When Giorgio Strehler asked him (Lettera a Joseph Svoboda, 1990) to insert a painted curtain in the scenography of his Театр Piccolo, ''Фауст, фрагменты'', Svoboda chose this as model.
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Atelier Julius Mühldorfer (acting 1890-1954)Sketch of the most important curtain (1904)Lübeck, StadttheaterTempera on paper, 40 x 56,5 cmCologne, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft der UniversitätThis is the model of the curtain that Джозеф Свобода made to paint on the floor that, reflected in a giant mirror, opened the famous installation of La traviata realized in 1992 by Arena Sferisterio of Macerata.Once more, the idea had been suggested by Strehler, as the director Henning Brockhaus remembers in a interview of great interest contained in the text that collects essays and testimonials about the important experience of the Bohemian Master in Macerata at the beginning of the 1990s: Massimo Puliani, Alessandro Forlani, Svobodamagika. Polivisioni sceniche di Josef Svoboda, Halley Editrice, 2006.
Otto Miller-Godesberg (?)Sketch of the main curtain (1905)Barmen, StadttheaterDistemper on paper, 54,8 x 79,7 cmCologne, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft der Universität«A magniloquent and absurd curtain, painted and luxurious metaphor of theatrically and illusionistic fiction of the bourgeois home. At one time a break on the theatre, the tent of the Sheikh and a drapery that is an end in itself.»V. Morpurgo, op. cit., page 130.
Angelo Quaglio (1829-1890)Sketch for a curtain (around 1870)Water-colour on paper, 27,9 x 37,3 смCologne, Institut für Theaterwissen-schaft der Universität«Angelo Quaglio belonged to a artists faмily, it is native to Lake Coмo and active in Gerмany since the beginning of the seventeenth century, which gave to the theatre scenographers and architects.»V. Morpurgo, op. cit., page 126.
Napoleon Sacchetti (?)Sketch for a curtain (end of XIX Century)Mixed technique on paper, 39,2 x 50 смParis, Bibliothèque Nationale, Musée de l'Opéra«During the period between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the first World War, becomes popular the new model of bourgeois theatre with redundant space, advanced technologies, excessive decorations that in the Opéra of Paris an ''exemplum'' to make obligatory reference.»V. Morpurgo, op. cit. page 144.
Philippe Chaperon (1823-1906)Sketch for a curtain (end of XIX Secolo)Éden-ThéâtreMixed technique on paper, 38,4 x 41,5 смParis, Bibliothèque Nationale, Musée de l'Opéra
Max Littmann (1862 - 1931)Prinzregententheater. Ansicht Gegen die BühneStage of the Prinzregententheater of Munich (1900)Pencil drawing on heliographed tracing paper, 49 x 62,7 cm«The Wagnerian principles were accepted with delayed by some new Germans theatres.Max Littmann shared them and his first theatre was really designed to be a sort of Wagnerian Festspielhaus: the Prinzregenten-Theater of Munich.The great simplification of the auditorium that hits in the various typologies is corresponding to the more radical simplification of the stage in the Appia and Craig projects.»Nikolaus Pevsner, A History of Building Types, Washington, 1976.
Max Littmann (1862 - 1931)Münchner Künstlertheater ProsceniumProscenium of the Künstlertheater of Munich (1907)Pencil drawing on heliographed tracing paper and painted with water-colours by hand, 40 x 60 cmMunich, Deutsches Theatermuseum, previously Clara-Ziegler-StiftungThe works at the beginning of twentieth century «... are characterized by the attention and care to detail and to the different typologies of curtains with directions and suggestions to the client. Very important is the appearance of the curtain as manufactured article to realize as specified trimmings, decorative elements and Fringes, arrhythmically placed, prefigured in the project. Completed, harmonically balanced and not at all redundant is the project of the Künstlertheater, closer to Werkbund and at the same Van de Velde.»V. Morpurgo, op. cit. page 144.
In 1984 the City of Prato installed a monographic show devoted to one of the most representative artefacts of the theatre.

Conceived and designed by Valerio Morpurgo, now only of its kind for the vastness of the material and the complexity of the contributions collected, the exhibition documented:
«...the different moments of the figuration and the evolution of his styles until the break with every formal episode (for overcoming of the traditional convention) when the curtain disappears or becomes routine curtain so it hasn’t reason to be an decorative episode.
But, the Curtain, it is not complete died.
Today it is somewhat revalued and the actors and directors recove it in a scenic game, perhaps with elision of that appearance significance more right for the ceremony of the pause and of suspense.»

Asserted it Morpurgo in L'avventura del sipario - Figurazione e metafora di una macchina teatrale, Ubulibri, 1984, page 12, the catalogue of the show includes writing, between the others by Jean-Louis Barrault, Gillo Dorfles, Francesco Leonettii e Franco Quadri that, as numerous other texs of the milanese publisher, today is a cult for scenografers and theatrical operators, unfortunately it is out of print and unobtainable used too.