1994


Delving into one of the most significant Western cultural expressions, this exhibition transported us through eight centuries of Classical plays, to the world of the theatre and its creativity. The history, religion, literature, music, plastic creation, habits and customs were reviewed through the work of the playwrights, constituting, simultaneously, the prime material that they analyse and reinvent.
The National Theatre Museum, within the programme of the celebrations for Lisbon 94, Capital of European Culture, became the prime stage for the meeting between peoples and cultures.
Evoking in its title "El Gran Teatro del Mundo" (The Great Theatre of the World), the masterpiece by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, the exhibition intended to be an invitation to stroll through centuries of theatre supported by eight essential points of reference, as well as calling upon the company of some of those authors who delved so deeply into human nature, that their work, though situated in space and time, are as contemporary today as when they were written, that is to say, the Classics.






THE BEGINNINGS OF PORTUGUESE THEATRE

    Pormenor de traje para Maimonda do espectáculo 'Tragicomédia de Dom Duardos', Teatro do Povo, 1953. Autoria de Abílio de Mattos e SilvaTraje para 2ª mulher para o espectáculo 'O arremedilho de Guimarães', Teatro do Povo, 1953. Autoria de José BarbosaTraje para 2º bobo par 'O arremedilho de Guimarães', Teatro do Povo, 1953. Autoria de José Barbosa

The costumes exhibited were designed by Abílio de Mattos e Silva for the tragicomedy of Dom Duardos directed by Francisco Ribeiro, put on in 1952, by Teatro do Povo,
The sumptuous effects are always obtained by Abílio with the purest theatrical make-believe. He resorts to golden fabrics, embroidered with pearls and stones, all of this emphasised by colours, some very bright, but rigorously juxtaposed, with an overall result that evokes fairy tale illustrations.






PORTUGUESE THEATRE INSPIRED BY THE CLASSICS

Pormenor do traje para o Infante D. Pedro para o espectáculo 'Castro', Teatro do Povo, 1952. Autoria de José BarbosaTrajes para Ama e Inês de Castro para o espectáculo 'Castro', Teatro do Povo, 1952. Autoria de José Barbosa

The costumes exhibited were designed by José Barbosa for the play "Castro" de Francisco Ribeiro, staged in 1952 by Teatro do Povo.
With his extraordinary theatrical sense, José Barbosa understood the play, dividing it in two groups: King, Secretary and Assassins, form one group, Castro, the Infant and the Nurse another. An admirable ensemble that conveys with visual beauty a total understanding of the play’s text.






ENGLISH THEATRE

Trajes de Regan, Cordélia e Goneril para o espectáculo 'Rei Lear', Teatro do Povo, 1954.  Autoria de Abílio de Mattos e SilvaTraje para Duque de Borgonha para o espectáculo 'Rei Lear', Teatro do Povo, 1955.  Autoria de Abílio de Mattos e Silva

The costumes exhibited were designed by Abílio de Mattos e Silva for William Shakespeare’s play King Lear directed by Francisco Ribeiro, and staged in 1955 by Teatro do Povo. Suggesting a primitive and sombre environment, medieval and distant, but always purely theatrical, Abílio dressed the male characters in this tragedy with costumes and capes made with fabrics in his favourite colours.
The result was a work that made its mark in terms of theatrical stylisation, in which colours and forms are brilliantly orchestrated.






ITALIAN THEATRE

Traje para Brighella para o espectáculo 'Comédia das verdades e das mentiras', Teatro do Povo, 1955.  Autoria de José BarbosaTrajes para Arlequim e Columbina para o espectáculo 'Comédia das verdades e das mentiras', Teatro do Povo, 1955. Autoria de José Barbosa

This theatrical moment was depicted by a set of costumes designed by José Barbosa for the play "Comédia das Verdades e das Mentiras" (Comedy of Truths and Lies), by Costa Ferreira, based on themes and characters of the commedia dell’arte, staged in 1955, by Teatro do Povo directed by Francisco Ribeiro.
To reinterpret the traditional costumes of commedia dell’arte, José Barbosa resorted to an elegant clarity, imagining a Harlequin who exchanges his usual multicoloured costume for the refined of a pink costumes with diamond shapes formed by light blue ribbons. Also, the garish Columbine features dressed in a delicate combination of pink and green.






FRENCH THEATRE

Trajes para Lélio e Célia para o espectáculo 'O traído imaginário', Teatro do Povo, 1952. Autoria de José BarbosaTraje para Pai de Valério para o espectáculo 'O traído imaginário', Teatro do Povo, 1952.  Autoria de José Barbosa

The costumes exhibited were designed by José Barbosa for a Commedia dell’arte play directed by Francisco Ribeiro, staged in 1952, by Teatro do Povo. Using modern fabrics that have little to do with the period of the play, José Barbosa, with his very special talent, recreated the complicated masculine costumes worn at the time of the reign of Louis XIV, choosing his colours very carefully, and then adorning these with an abundance of ruffles, cord, fringes, braids and many coloured ribbons, achieving not a reconstitution as such, but successfully evoking the atmosphere of XVII century in France. Very beautiful and more ornamented were the feminine costumes which were also conceived with subtle colours and an ingenious sense of decoration.





THE REBIRTH OF THE PORTUGUESE THEATRE

Traje para Luís de Melo para o espectáculo 'O Tio Simplício', Teatro do Povo, 1954. Autoria de José BarbosaTraje D. Teresa para o espectáculo 'O Tio Simplício', Teatro do Povo, 1954. Autoria de José Barbosa

The exhibited costumes were designed by José Barbosa for the play "Tio Simplício" directed by Francisco Ribeiro, staged in 1954, by Teatro do Povo.
Using the silhouette 1840s with simplicity, José Barbosa dressed the female characters with a careful choice of fabrics and colours.





THE ETERNAL RETURN TO GREEK TRAGEDY

Traje para Pílades para o espectáculo 'Electra ou a queda das máscaras', Casa da Comédia, 1987. Autoria de Filipe La FériaTraje para Egisto para o espectáculo 'Electra ou a queda das máscaras', Casa da Comédia, 1987.  Autoria de Filipe La Féria

The costumes exhibited were designed by Filipe La Féria for Electra, which he directed at the Casa da Comédia in 1987 or the "Queda das Máscaras" by Marguerite Yourcenar.
To create an ambience that was simultaneously primitive and majestic, Filipe La Féria uses apparently rough materials but elaborately used.
With these materials, almost all in their natural colours, each character in the play is defined.
Emphasising the cruelty and power they symbolise, the characters wear buskins, like the actors in Classical tragedies.