Galli da Bibbiena Family

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Galli da Bibbiena Family


(also Galli da Bibiena), a family of Italian stage and set designers and architects.

Ferdinando Galli Bibbiena, who was born on Aug. 18, 1657, in Bologna and died there on Jan. 3, 1743, was an outstanding master of baroque theatrical scenery. He worked in Parma and in other Italian cities and at the courts of Vienna and Barcelona. Eschewing the symmetrical stage scenery of the Renaissance, he used sharp displacements of points of view to create impressive illusionary spatial effects. The theater in Mantua (1731, whose interior is still intact) was built according to his plan. He wrote several treatises, including Civic Architecture Based on Geometry and Reduced to Perspective (published in 1711).

Francesco Galli Bibbiena, who was born on Dec. 12, 1659, in Bologna and died there on Jan. 20, 1739, was a brother of Ferdinando and worked mainly in Italy. In 1729 he built the Teatro Filarmónico in Verona, which has not been preserved in its original state.

Ferdinando Galli Bibbiena’s sons included Alessandro Galli Bibbiena, who was born in 1687, in Parma and died before 1769, Giuseppe, who was born on Jan. 5, 1696, in Parma and died in 1756 (1757?), in Berlin, and Antonio, who was born on Jan. 16, 1700, in Parma and died in 1774, in Milan (or in Mantua, according to some sources). Carlo Galli Bibbiena, who was Ferdinando Galli Bibbiena’s grandson, was born in 1725 (1728?), in Vienna and died in 1787, in Florence. Ferdinando’s sons and grandson were also stage and set designers and architects and worked in Italy, Germany, and Austria. (Still intact are a theater in Bayreuth, opened in 1748; a Jesuit church at Mannheim, 1733-60; and the Teatro Communale at Bologna, 1756-63, which has been rebuilt many times.) It is possible that in 1778, Carlo took part in designing stage sets in St. Petersburg. Giuseppe was the author of a treatise entitled Architecture and Perspective (published in 1740), which was widely used by stage decorators in the 18th century.


Mayor, A. Hyatt. The Bibiena Family. New York, 1945.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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