The jewel's seen from the inside

Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

The inauguration of the Municipal Theater on 14th July 1909 represented for Rio de Janeiro and for the Federal District the conquest of a center of excellence and sophistication for the artistic and cultural life of the capital of the Republic.

The internal decoration's work of the Theater were entrusted to important artists as Eliseu Visconti, the brothers Rodolfo and Henrique Bernardelli, Rodolpho Amoedo and Giandomenico Facchina.
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In 1905 Eliseu Visconti was invited by Francisco de Oliveira Passos to create the decoration works of the ceiling in the Room of Spectacles, the frieze of the proscenium and curtain. A part of the studies of these works were donated by the artist to the Municipality of the Federal District in 1942 and they can are in the collection of the Municipal Theater.

The curtain, entitled " The influence of the Arts in Civilization " was developed based in female figures to represent the Art, the Music, the Dance and the Poetry .

Alongside these figures, Visconti inserted portraits of great figures of the national and universal culture.

The work "The Dance of the Hours" decorates skirting the chandelier of the Room of the Spectacles. Referring to this beautiful ensemble, the chronicler João do Rio described overcome with emotion in 1913 : "the pink carnation warmed by the brazier of the immense crystal chandelier and gold, which the center of the room gushing over the audience the fixed splendor of the light. "

In the painting of the ceiling over the audience Visconti used the pointillist technique. The figures show extreme lightness and they dance interconnected to spend the days and nights in continuous motion.

Henrique Bernardelli was responsible for the decoration of the ceilings of the roundabouts of the Noble Balcony, whose subjects honor the Music and the Poetry.

Rodolpho Bernardelli performed the sculptural set of the crowning of the facades of the Theater, where six sculptures honor the muses of the arts : Poetry, Music, Singing, Dance, Comedy and Tragedy .
He is also the author of five bronze busts located at the entrance of the Theater representing Carlos Gomes, Arthur Azevedo, João Caetano Pereira Passos and Souza Aguiar, and a full-body sculpture of Carlos Gomes located in the Boulevard's entrance.

The oil panels from Rodolpho Amoedo adorn the two Roundabouts of the Noble Balcony, a total of eight works. In this picture, which shows the Rotunda facing the Rio Branco Avenue, the artist presents dancing couples with clothes and iconographic elements from Poland, Hungary, France and Spain; the rosettes, a representation of the original flowers of these countries.

In addition to the artistic paintings, the interior of the Theatre is decorated with Rodolpho Bernardelli's, Raoul Verlet's and Jean Antoine Injalber's sculptures. The last one is the author of "The Truth", a work in marble located above the main entrance.

The stained glasses that adorn the facades and the roof of the main entrance are works of Feuerstein and Fugel, from Stuttgart.

The side entries receive mosaic panels with opera topics, executed by the Italian Giandomenico Facchina.

The Salão Assyrio occupies the ground floor area and is designed to accommodate the restaurant of the Theatre. The decoration is inspired by the Mesopotamian art. The walls are covered with glazed ceramics; the columns in Persian style are topped with two bull heads.

The stairs are studded with kerubs, also elements from the Persian culture.

The beautiful interior decoration of the Municipal Theater of Rio inspired John chronicler saying:
"Many theaters do not keep the proportion of luxury and grace between the inside and the inside. Now are only rich facade, now only affluent audience of forming violent contrasts. The Municipal is the jewel seen from inside."

Credits: Story

Documentary sources
Collection of the Documentation Centre of the Municipal Theater Foundation of Rio de Janeiro - CEDOC / FTMRJ
Curatorship and Text
Fatima Cristina Gonçalves

Álvaro Vitor
Jorge Campana
Júlia Rónai
Luiz Evandro Bertanha
Vânia Laranjeira

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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