Pietro Gonzaga

Mar 25, 1751 - Aug 6, 1831

Pietro di Gottardo Gonzaga was an Italian theatre set designer who worked in Italy and, since 1792, in the Russian Empire.
A vedutist, master of chiaroscuro art and trompe-l'œil optical illusions, Gonzaga was primarily known for his fantastic yet deceptively realistic stage sets, and summarized the theory and purpose of his art as music for the eyes: "a perspective that changes in relation to variations in musical expression." According to Ferrero, Gonzaga was the first to promote scenic design into an art "in its own right" and shake off the derided image of mere decoration devoid of art. With age he lost confidence in his profession and aspired, in vain, to become a practicing architect.
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