Ephemera, Festivals and Theatrical Representation
“All the world is a stage”
The Baroque as both illusion and miracle is a phenomenon seen at full glory during festive events.
The Baroque as both illusion and miracle is a phenomenon seen at full glory, expressed at full capacity, during festive events, whether in formal theatrical performances or at royal or noble family events (births, baptisms, weddings and funerals), royal visits, papal elections, carnivals, religious feasts, political events or military victories. Behind these spectacles, however, was huge investment both in money and labour—in the design of stage-sets, costumes or other accessories—which in most cases are no longer extant. The visual and written documents of the festivities that took place, therefore, are extremely important and interesting, comprising sketches and prints in illustrated books and commemorative publications that describe in detail the events, guests and the collaborators, and which sometimes included a set of fine prints.
Senator Ratta banquet

1693
Biblioteca Comunale dell'Archiginnasio
Bologna, Italy
Etching: Giacomo Maria Giovannini (1667, Bologna – 1717, Parma); designer: Marco Antonio Chiarini (1652, Bologna – 1730, Bologna)
Etching on paper
The print documents the theatricality, splendour and excessiveness of a banquet.