Hidden treasures

The Puppet Theater in Carlo Goldoni’s museum in Venice

Unknown places & works

The Puppet Theater in Carlo Goldoni’s museum in Venice

Since 1953 the beautiful Palazzo Centani, the San Polo district, has housed a museum dedicated to theater and the famous Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793).

Through memorabilia, furnishings, paintings, illustrations of Goldoni’s comedies and explanatory panels, the museum recounts the life and work of Carlo Goldoni, the context of Venetian theater and society in the 18th century.

The most interesting room is certainly the one in which a puppet theater has been set up.

This incredible installation comes from the collection of the family Grimani ai Servi and documents the excellence of Venetian craftsmanship in making a refined imitation of real life, as can be seen from the sophistication of the clothes of the various characters, made with precious fabrics and fashionable cuts. These puppets make it possible to get to know and admire not only the particular refinement of the artifacts, but also the extraordinary 'engineering' of their mechanisms.

In the eighteenth century the marionette theater had represented an entertaining playground for literary and musical happenings and an ingenious domestic substitute in lieu of the events of public theaters. It also embodied a sort of 'chamber theater', in opposition and as an alternative to the 'theatre in the square', in which puppet shows were represented (this being a kind of more working-class and unsophisticated form of theatre).

The scene depicted in the puppet theater is inspired by the Third Act - Scene XIII and XIV – of 'The Servant of Two Masters', a comedy composed by Carlo Goldoni in 1745 which was a great success.

To visit Carlo Goldoni’s House, you can buy online the single admission ticket or the convenient Museum Pass, which also includes access to the other City Museums of Venice!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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