Antonio Corazzi, best known for his work in Poland, was born in Livorno on December 16th, 1792. He studied with Giuseppe del Rosso at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Florence before relocating to Poland in 1818. In Warsaw, his projects included work for the Res Sacra Miser and the palace for the Society of the Friends of Science.
He spent 1825-26 travelling through Europe in preparation for his work on the Grand Theater (Teatr Wielki). Typical of Baroque palace design at the time and suited to the Polish taste for neoclassicism, the structure included a large central core framed by long wings. Until November of 1830, Corazzi continued to work for the state but, after the uprising, his focus turned to private commissions. In 1845, he returned to Florence where he passed away on April 26, 1877.
Many of his projects were destroyed during World War II but have since been rebuilt or renovated. For example, the Grand Theater was destroyed during the 1939 siege of Warsaw. Between 1945 and 1965, the theater was rebuilt in a way that paid tribute to Corazzi’s original vision but also provided the theater company with a modern performance space. The new theater opened on November 19, 1965.
References: Andrzej Rottermund. “Corazzi, Antoni”. Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. http://www.oxfordartonline.com/groveart/view/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.001.0001/oao-9781884446054-e-7000019414. A, M. Rosenthal. “A Dream Being Built,” New York Times. Dec, 13, 1959: X, 13. “History.” Teatr Wiekli.
Marcin Bialek. Teatr Wielki. Warsaw, Poland. (1825-33). Image Source: Wikimedia Commons.
View of the square with the Teatr Wiekli c.1900. Image Source: Wikipedia.
Further reading: Knox, Brian. The Great Country Houses of Poland. New York: Abbeville Press, 2008; Palmer, Allison Lee. Historical Dictionary of Neoclassical Art and Architecture. Lanham MD: Scarecrow Press, 2011.