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TitleScenography. Theoretical speculation and practical application through perspective teaching in Portuguese Jesuit colleges
Author(s)Xavier, João Pedro
Cabeleira, João
Jesuit college
Aula da Sphera
Issue date2016
PublisherSapienza Università Editrice
Abstract(s)In the year of 1708, the College of Santo Antão integrated the wedding festivities of D. João V with Maria Anna of Austria (daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I), staging a play under the auspices of the Jesuit Father Inácio Vieira (1678-1739) who considered it the "most complete tragedy made in Portugal during our times”. If, in relation to the wedding there is nothing to report about the chosen location, the theatrical play was severely criticized at the time by the press invoking the desecration of religious space and obstruction to its use over a long period. “[…] performed in the church (place for its decency, indecent for similar play) preventing, with its structure, the use of the main chapel and church for a long time, jeopardizing the performance of ministries, masses or divine offices during the days of this act” . Although, as we shall see, the fact can be pragmatically explained due to lack of alternatives, the truth is that such kind of performance was no novelty in that space, but rather a common and legitimate use founded over the college's tradition in theatrical practice, an application of the lectures on perspective that Inácio Vieira, himself, contemporaneously ministered at the College’s Aula da Sphera. Indeed the church, and specifically its main chapel, would be the place by excellence for the theatrum Sacrum but also, when necessary, would serve the performance of classical tragedies testing out, in either case, teachers and students’ ability in defining spatial perspectives, as well as all the scenery machinery associated with its implementation and transformation. As for the royal wedding seems to be no doubt of Inácio Vieira’s direct involvement, based upon his written production on perspective, but also on optics, catoptrics and dioptrics, compliant to the framework of the Jesuit culture, highly skilled, on these topics. As such we propose to develop in this paper an exploration on the characterization of scenographic space probably designed by this Jesuit priest for the event.
TypeBook part
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:EAAD - Livros e Capítulos de Livros

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