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Mr Giovanni Niccolo Servandoni

Giovanni Niccolo Servandoni was a prominent Italian-French architect, painter, and theatrical designer born on May 2, 1695, in Florence, Italy. He gained recognition for his diverse talents and significant contributions to the arts during the 18th century.

Servandoni's early years were marked by his training as an architect under the tutelage of his father, a renowned sculptor. He also studied under the painter Pannini in Rome and the architect Rossi. His artistic abilities flourished, leading him to work extensively in Italy before relocating to France in the early 18th century, where he made a lasting impact.

In Paris, Servandoni's architectural prowess and innovative designs quickly garnered attention. He became known for his imaginative and grandiose architectural concepts, incorporating elements of classical styles while also exploring new ideas. In 1749 Servandoni designed an elaborate Doric temple structure with flanking pavillions for a fireworks display in Green Park, London. This was to celebrate the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. Later he was employed by Frederick, Prince of Wales, making drawings and designs at Kew, and by George Bubb Dodington for whom he created a lavish sculpture gallery at the latter's house in Hammersmith. One of his notable achievements was the design and construction of the Théâtre Italien in Paris (1752), showcasing his mastery in blending architectural aesthetics with functional spaces for theatrical performances.

His involvement in theatrical design was instrumental in revolutionizing stagecraft during that era. His innovative use of perspective and lighting techniques transformed the way sets were designed and presented on stage, influencing the evolution of theatre design for years to come.

His reputation extended beyond architecture and theatre design. Servandoni was also an accomplished painter, displaying his artistic talent through various works, including landscapes and architectural paintings. His paintings often reflected his architectural sensibilities, featuring grand structures and detailed landscapes.

While much of Servandoni's work remains celebrated, his life was not extensively documented, leading to limited available biographical information. References and detailed accounts of his life and works can be found in various historical archives, architectural journals, and books on 18th-century architecture and theatre history.

Servandoni passed away on January 19, 1766, in Paris, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire architects, artists, and designers. His innovative approach to architecture, ground-breaking contributions to theatre design, and artistic endeavours remain influential in the realm of art and architecture.


  1. "The Architecture of the Theatre: Servandoni and the Boulle Workshops" by Antoine Picon
  2. "The Eighteenth-Century French Stage: Innovation and Tradition" by David Trott
  3. "Italian Opera in Paris, 1700-1715" by Herbert Schneider
  4. "Giovanni Niccolo Servandoni" by Henry A. Millon - Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press
  5. Colvin, Howard, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1660-1840, Third Edition (Yale and New Haven: Yale University Press: 1995), pp. 858-859.

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