A Colonnaded Stage

This drawing by Carlo Bibiena dates to early in his career, perhaps to around 1750 when he was assisting his father, Giuseppe, at the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth. The architectural structure exemplifies Carlo’s formal, restrained draftsmanship; unusually, however, work continued on the sheet even after the highly finished framework was complete. Festoons were added atop the proscenium and columns, and ghostly scrolls were sketched on some of the plinths at left. Fragments of paper attached to the column plinths at right show disembodied hooves or feet, indicating some additional decoration that was glued to the surface but later removed and lost.

Carlo Galli Bibiena (1721–1787)
A Colonnaded Stage, ca. 1750
Pen and brown and black ink, and gray wash
Promised gift of Jules Fisher