Pre-Cinema Museum Minici Zotti Collection at Padua
The Pre-Cinema Museum Minici Zotti Collection at Padua was established in 1998 in collaboration with the City of Padua council and was located on the first floor of the 15th-century Palazzo Angeli in Prato della Valle square. It represents a unique example among Italian museums, almost a “museum of wonders”. It is not so widely known that magic lanterns, invented back in 1650, anticipated the invention of cinema with “moving” images painted on glass, bewitching the audience of the time with charming fading images. And magic lanterns are the very jewels of the museum: images create a world of dreams suitable for all, grown-ups and children, with a selection that ranges from comic and playful subjects, to historical and scientific ones. The selection includes also moral subjects and images considered rather “spicy” at the time – today just images to laugh at – that were meant to privately satisfy men’s curiosity at the height of Victorian era in the late 18th century. The playful images are the funniest ones: the glass painters’ imagination run wild thinking up all kinds of jokes and tricks. Fast sequences of comic situations achieve funny surprise effects: live bunnies that jump out of pots under the surprised look of the cook, devils losing their head, liars’ noses and gossipmongers’ tongues that grow beyond measure, and a little crowd of poulterers, cobblers, carpenters, and fishermen whose bad luck and clumsiness highly entertain grown-ups and children. The museum also hosts optical games and musical instruments; there is a whole section dedicated to photography where is located a theatre of Javanese shadows too, and everything is reconstructed with strictly original tools. At the end of the visit, visitors will also have the possibility to enjoy an interesting screening on the history of cinema archaeology.
Prato della Valle 1/a, Padova
Tel +39 049 8763838
Fax +39 049 8780280