Through an interdisciplinary examination of sixteenth-century theatre, Visual Experiences in Cinquecento Theatrical Spaces, by Associate Professor of Art History Javier Berzal de Dios, Ph.D, studies the performative aspects of the early modern stage, paying special attention to the overlooked complexities of audience experience.
Examining the period’s philosophical and aesthetic ideas about space, place, and setting, the book shows how artists consciously moved away from traditional representations of real spaces on stage, instead providing their audiences with more imaginative and collaborative engagements that were untethered by strict definitions of naturalism. In this way, the book breaks with traditional interpretations of early modern staging techniques, arguing that the goal of artists in this period was not to cater to a single privileged viewer through the creation of a naturalistically unified stage but instead to offer up a complex multimedia experience that would captivate a diverse assembly of theatre-goers.
"Visual Experiences in Cinquecento Theatrical Spaces is truly an enlightening book. This study excavates both visual and literary evidence to bring us into early modern Italian theatres in a way that is rarely achieved in cross-disciplinary studies. This book will speak not only to art historians but also to literary critics, and scholars in performance studies." Kristin Phillips-Court, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Prof. Berzal de Dios holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the Ohio State University and a BA/MA in Philosophy from CUNY Queens College. He has been at Western since 2014 teaching early modern art history courses (Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo); as well as architecture, aesthetics, and historiography.