Francesco Galli Bibiena

Dec 12, 1659 - Jan 20, 1739

Francesco Galli, called Francesco da Bibiena, a member of the theatrical Galli da Bibiena family and younger brother of Ferdinando Galli, was born at Bologna in 1659. He first studied under Lorenzo Pasinelli; but he was afterwards instructed in the school of Carlo Cignani. His knowledge of architecture and perspective was considerable; but he excelled in figures. Francesco worked at Piacenza, Parma, and Rome, and then became ducal architect at Mantua. After a stay in Genoa and Naples he was called to Vienna, where he built a large theatre. He worked successively for the Emperors Leopold I and Joseph I, and was invited to Madrid by Philip V, who appointed him his principal architect. He died in 1739.
Francesco was known for his theatrical achievements in scenic design. He was the first member of the Bibiena family to build theatres as well as to design sets. In 1700 he completely renovated the theatre in Hofburg, Vienna, for Emperor Leopold I. The large theatre was known as the Große Komödiensaal, which later became the Court Theater. The opera house, however, burned down in 1747.
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