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Scenic Art for the Theatre, 2nd Edition by Peter Beudert, Susan Crabtree

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Chapter 11

Ancient Classical Theatre to Medieval Performances: 500 B.C. to 1400 A.D.

The painter’s art has enhanced theatre performance and production during virtually all ages of theatre. Painting seems to transform common materials into magical and mysterious objects, like the alchemy of creating gold from base elements. Stage painting did more than fool the eye by clever device. Painting also created powerful images of the unknown. The terrifying specter of hell was created by unknown artists for liturgical dramas and pageants of the pre-Renaissance Christian west. These sorts of scenic elements were possibly the principal way in which most people witnessed profoundly important suggestions of their afterlife. Through scenic art we see expressed ...

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