Tessin Diary


Twenty sketches are included in the diary of the 1687-88 of Nicodemus Tessin The Younger. Eleven of these sketches include stage machinery.

  • Double central shafts used for a wing change on large stage
  • Graduated shaft for wing change
  • Use of plugs between the flat wings to create a "box set" effect
  • Border changing machine raises and lowers sets of borders
  • Border changing machine that alternates the visible borders
  • Rotating lighting pole
  • Lighting board hooked on the back of the wing chariot ladder
  • Border light batten
  • Shaped bottle used to create the moon
  • Flying Dragon Chariot with performer controls for dragons' neck and feet
  • Flying chair that could be lowered and flown downstage

Volume Two of a diary of the travels of Nicodemus Tessin The Younger in 1687-88 includes descriptions and sketches of the machinery he saw in Venice. This volume is owned by Carl David Moselius. The pertinent text and sketches have been published in "Unveröffentliches von Nicodemus Tessin d.J. Reisenotizen über Barock-Theater in Venedig und Piazzola, herausgegeben und kommentiert von Per Bjurström" in Kleine Schriften der Gesellschaft für Theatergeschichte [in German]. The sketches and a summary of the related text is published in Gösta M. Bergman's Lighting in the Theatre.

the development of scenice spectacle


usittThis material is made possible, in part, by a grant from the New Initiatives Fund, United States Institute for Theatre Technology and by grants from the University Research Council, Cratis D. Williams Graduate School, Appalachian State University.


Dr. Frank Mohler
Department of Theatre & Dance
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

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