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Teatro Olimpico: Raking interior view of stage, the scaenae frons
Palladio's design for the Teatro Olimpico (1580) in Vicenza, a reconstruction of ancient theatre types, is a statement of artistic identity inspired by humanism. It features a semi-elliptical auditorium with a colonnade behind. The classical scaenae frons echoes the form of the triumphal arch, with a tall, central arched opening flanked by two lower openings; there are also two levels of aedicular niches filled with statues, and an attic level above with relief panels. The openings were intended to give on to a set of flats painted illusionistically to depict different types of theatre. This design was altered by Vincenzo Scamozzi, who completed the building in 1584 and, for its first performance (Oedipus Rex), constructed steeply foreshortened streets behind the proscenium, thus making the stage set unalterable.