Galli da Bibiena

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Galli da Bibiena Family. Important Italian quadratura painters, theatrical designers, and architects. Ferdinando (1657–1743) was architect of Sant'Antonio Abbate, Parma (1712–60), and author of L'Architettura civile … (Civil Architecture…—1711), a text that describes various means of creating spatial illusion. Francesco (1659–1739), Ferdinando's brother, designed several theatres (none has survived intact), but Giuseppe (1695–1747), Ferdinando's son, designed the enchanting Rococo interior of the Markgräfliches Opernhaus (Margrave's Opera House), Bayreuth, Bavaria (1745–8), one of the loveliest auditoria in Europe, completed under the direction of Giuseppe's son, Carlo Ignazio (1728–87). Another son of Ferdinando, Antonio (1697–c.1774), designed the Nuovo Teatro Pubblico (now Teatro Communale), Bologna (1755–63), the Teatro Scientifico, Mantua (1767–9—inspired by Palladio's Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza, but destroyed and the Church, Villa Pasquali, near Sabbioneta (1765–84), with its delicate trellis-like stucco-work under the dome. He also completed the presbytery, designed the high altar, and frescoed the vault of the choir of the Church of St Peter, Vienna (1730–2). A third son, Alessandro (1686–1748), became Court Architect to the Electors Palatinate at Mannheim, in which capacity he designed the Jesuitenkirche (Jesuit Church—1738–48), one of the most important Baroque churches in South-West Germany before it was badly damaged in the 1939–45 war.


Galli da Bibiena (1703–8, 1711);
Hadamowsky (1962);
Mayor (1945);
Muraro & and Povoledo (1970);
Wittkower (1982)

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Galli da Bibiena (gäl´lē dä bēbyā´nä), family of Italian artists of the 17th and 18th cent. Giovanni Maria Galli da Bibiena, 1625–65, studied with Francesco Albani and painted chiefly altarpieces, examples of which are to be seen in the churches of Bologna. His son, Ferdinando Galli Bibiena, 1657–1743, the most renowned of the group, became celebrated throughout Europe for his architectural views and theatrical designs and for his magnificent decorations for public and court festivities. He wrote several treatises on architecture. A master of baroque illusionism, he created an effect of depth by extending the set pieces of his scene designs beyond the proscenium arch. Francesco Galli Bibiena, 1659–1739, brother of Ferdinando, is celebrated chiefly as the designer of great European theaters. Other members of the family include Alessandro Galli Bibiena, 1687–c.1769, son of Ferdinando, a fresco painter and architect; Giuseppe Galli Bibiena, 1696–1756, second son and pupil of Ferdinando and, like him, renowned for his sumptuous decorations, designed principally for the courts and theaters of Vienna, Munich, Dresden, Bayreuth, and Prague; Antonio Galli Bibiena, 1700–1774, third son of Ferdinando, an architect and designer; and Carlo Galli Bibiena, 1728–1787, the son of Giuseppe, a painter and architect employed at many of the European courts.

See A. H. Mayor, The Bibiena Family (1940).

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Bibiena. See Galli da Bibiena.

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Galli da Bibiena: see Bibiena, Galli da.