World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Periaktos

Article Id: WHEBN0003569923
Reproduction Date:

Title: Periaktos  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Scenic design
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Periaktos

Use of periakton in 17th century theater. In: Architectura recreationis, by J. Furttenbach

Periaktos (plural form Periaktoi, from Greek revolving) is a device used for displaying and rapidly changing theatre scenes. It was first mentioned in Vitruvius' book on architecture, De architectura (c. 14 BC) but its most intense use began in Renaissance theatre, as a result of the work of important theatrical designers, such as Nicola Sabbatini (1574-1654). Other solid polygons can be used, such as cubes, but triangular prisms offer the best combination of simplicity, speed and number of scenes per device.

It consists of a revolving solid isosceles triangular prism made of wood. On each of its three faces, a different scene is painted, so that, by revolving quickly the periaktos, another face can appear to the audience. A series of periaktoi positioned one after the other along the stage's depth can produce the illusion of a longer scene, composed by its faces as seen in perspective. These periaktoi must therefore be rotated simultaneously to a new position, thus achieving interesting illusions. This is made by coupling them by using sprocket gears at their bases and a flat chain or conveyor belt mechanical transmission system.

A similar concept is used in some modern tri-faced multi-message billboards, which are made up of a series of triangular prisms arranged so that they can be rotated to present three separate flat display surfaces in succession.

Early motion picture mechanical devices, such as the praxinoscope, were also based on rapidly rotating solid polygons, which had the successive animation or photographic plates affixed or projected to each face, thus providing the optical illusion of movement.

See also

External links

  • Geauga Lyric Theatre Guild's The Sound of Music. Scene by scene breakdown of design, in which the use of periaktoi is illustrated very well.
  • Early Illusionistic Scene Changes. In: The Development of Scenic Spectacle. This excellent article shows periaktoi inventions by Sabbatini, Furttenbach and Danti, with QuickTime animations and descriptions.
  • The Praxinoscope
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.