Collezione Maria Signorelli
with relevant sets and stage properties of
Puppets of Maria Signorelli
- i fantocci
- i fantocci
The fairy tales, nursery rhymes and films
Shows with classical and modern texts, films
The ballets of Maria Signorelli
19th-20th century Italian rod and glove puppets
19th-20th century Italian marionettes
20th century foreign rod and string puppets
Sicilian, Pugliese and Neapolitan puppets
rod, glove and string puppets
and card theatres, sets and characters
of puppet and marionette plays
of puppet theatre productions and festivals
There are around two hundred puppets 20 to 30 cm tall, which belonged to a non-identified aristocratic Trieste family from the early years of the twentieth century.
They are in an excellent state of preservation: as the puppets were not acquired together with play scripts, it is thought that they were intended for an adult audience, and used for works connected with actual events of the time. This would explain groups of puppets such as those identified as being soldiers of the French army, others representing various combatants in colonial wars, and certain medieval scenes, perhaps intended to reinforce contemporary patriotic themes, as was typical of the post-Risorgimento era. Constructed of painted plaster, the puppets are richly costumed, with minute attention to detail, with dresses, coats, crowns, hats, necklaces, swords, guns and daggers.
Around one hundred sets made of cardboard painted in tempera have also survived (one metre wide and 70 cm high), with around 240 wing panels 70-75cm high, pertaining to sixty different subjects: among them there are a drawing room with columns and red curtains, an Arab village, a grotto with water and swans, an autumn wood with cart, cannon and drum, a cathedral, a medieval castle, an Egyptian temple, a Renaissance palace, a neoclassical scene with plants and ruins, and a railway station.
Various items of furniture are also included in the Fund, among them a blue drawing room with armchairs, padded chairs upholstered in silk, sofas, tables, a throne room, an Arab parlour, a bourgeois drawing room with several items, among them a piano, a spinet, bottles and ornaments. The workmanship is refined, the sets very accurate in composition and in execution.
A section of the Fund was shown in the exhibition Piccoli personaggi.
incanti. Marionette triestine della Collezione Signorelli (Little people. Great enchantment. Trieste
puppets from the Signorelli Collection)
organized by G. Volpicelli and put on at
the Palazzo dei Trecento in Treviso from 25 May to 16 June 2002 (catalogue with texts by Renzo Chiarelli, Adriano Dugulin, Lina Job
Wertmüller, Anna Laura Messeri, Mario Verdone and G. Volpicelli).