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Giovanni Francesco Costa

1711–1772, Venice

The painter, architect, stage designer and etcher Gianfrancesco Costa was a widely educated and assiduous personality who also distinguished himself as an art theoretician. His thirst for learning and ability to make his mark in a wide variety of fields are a reflection of the 18th century zeitgeist. Costa had begun his career as a stage designer in Padua in the late 1730s and subsequently pursued various activities in Vicenza, Venice and Turin, where he was associated with the well-known Teatro Regio. Costa’s range of interests was extensive and he occasionally aban­doned his profession as set designer to pursue other occupations. In 1747 he published his treatise Elementi di prospettiva before turning to printmaking a few years later.