Louis Béroud (1852-1930): The Staircase of the Opera, 1877

Louis Béroud (1852-1930): The Staircase of the Opera, 1877

12/23/2021, 3:49:00 PM
Louis Béroud (1852-1930): The Staircase of the Opera, 1877, oil on Canvas, Musee Carnavalet - Musee de la Ville de Paris Opera Garnier (Palais Garnier), perhaps the most interesting building from the era of Napoleon Ill, is the largest theater for lyric opera in the world Garnier’s building had an unprecedented 17 stories, seven of them beneath the stage. It seated 2,200 spectators, many of them in private boxes as large as living rooms. There was space on the 11,000 square meter stage for 450 performers. Designed by Carnier and built between 1862 and 1875, its facade displays that profusion of decorative elements which was typical of the era. The luxuriance of the lighting is well rendered in the painting ‘ The Staircase of the Opera' by Louis Béroud. Two immense candelabra intertwined with female figures greet the spectators at ground level. A second series of lamps normally of a scale reserved for boulevards, border the top of the stairs to illuminate the slow gait of the crowd dressed in their Sunday best. Smaller lights were installed in the lunettes above the entablature to softly light the vaults. Around this immense foyer of light that formed the staircase of the Opera, however, a relative shadowy half-light prevailed. Embedded in the depth of the surrounding archways, dimly lit balconies allowed observers to better view the luminous spectacle that unfolded at their feet. 🌟(Best of 2019)🌟

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