Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1784-1844 - Haymarket (Westminster)

Scene painter Gaetano Marinari was born in Florence (date is not known). He was active in Britain between between 1784 and 1836. He succeeded Michael Novosielski at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket, in 1785/6 and remained with the company as painter and machinist until 1794/5. He worked on six operas by Cimarosa, including Il matrimonio segreto, for which he supplied new scenes and dresses as well as the theatre decorations. In 1809 he was in Dublin to work on the decoration of the Crow Street Theatre.

During the 1820s he worked in Drury Lane and in 1836 he was engaged by the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden. Marinari was an excellent teacher. He instructed Charles Marshall at Drury Lane Theatre who would become one of the most prominent scene-painters of the day. His influence reached over the Atlantic. Born in London, John Joseph Holland was apprenticed to him at the age of nine at the King’s Theatre. After his apprenticeship was over, his work was noticed in 1796 by Thomas Wignell who engaged young Holland for the Chestnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia. He became the outstanding scene painter of the early American theatre. Marinari died around 1844.

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