Capturing the Moment

The etchings of Callot and Della Bella as records that capture the ephemeral moment of dramatic performance.

Stefano Della Bella (1610-1664)


Stage design for Le Nozze degli Dei - plate 1
Stage design for ‘Le Nozze degli Dei’ – plate 1, 1637, The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

This one of seven engravings that record the four-hour theatrical production “Wedding of the Gods”. It was performed on a temporary stage in the courtyard of Florence’s Pitti Palace to celebrate the wedding of Grand Duke Ferdinando II de’Medici and the Duchess of Urbino. In scene 5, Inferno, chaos abounds as centaurs battle, winged creatures linger ominously in the sky, and fireballs engulf the set.