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The John Rylands Research Institute

Giulio Camillo 2.0

Oscar Seip, PhD candidate

Title page from Tutte l’opere di M. Giulio Camillo Delminino
Title page from Tutte l’opere di M. Giulio Camillo Delminino; the John Rylands Library holds one of the most complete and significant collections of the works of Camillo in the world

Oscar’s project uses a manuscript from the John Rylands Library’s Christie Collection to digitally recreate a 3D model of a theatre that the sixteenth century Italian humanist Giulio Camillo(1480-1544) is rumoured to have built for the King of France, Francis I, in Paris around the 1530s.

The question of whether this theatre was in fact ‘real’ has been a topic of much debate. Not only have scholars disagreed about whether the theatre actually existed in reality, but also about what this hypothetical theatre looked like or how it functioned. However, while studying for his PhD, Oscar rediscovered a letter in Milan that Camillo sent to the King of France, which unequivocally confirms the theatre’s existence.

The aim of this project is to bring together the existing but fragmented descriptions of the theatre for the first time, to inform the creation of a 3D prototype model of Camillo’s theatre. In addition to producing a working model, this research will demonstrate the benefit and potential of digital techniques for intertextual analysis.

This project is funded by a JRRI Digital Humanities grant and runs from January to April 2019.