Florim<code>é</code>ne</I>:Note on the relief scene

Florimène at the Court of Charles I


Close Note

Giacomo Torelli and the Bibienna family, working at the end of the 17th century in Italy, made use of free-standing scenic pieces through which, or around which, the viewer might look, thus enhancing the illusion of distance by creating elements in a foreground, middle ground and background relationship. To what extent this practice was indebted to Inigo Jones, or to the practices upon which he drew, cannot be determined.

What separates the practices of Torelli and the Bibiennas from those of Jones is useage. So far as we know, the relieve area was not, generally, an area in which the actors performed, since their presence so far upstage would damage the illusion created by the perspective of the scene. Torelli and the Bibiennas employed "corner perspective" rather than the single-vanishing point perspective of Jones. With corner perspective, actors could make use of the entire stage with little effect on the illusion of the scene.

Jack Wolcott