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- Author Luigi Carramba
- Performed by Carramba (shoes produced by Panni factory)
- Date of production ca. 1912
- Place of creation Milan, Italy
- Dimensions height: 186 cm
- ID no. MHK-1978/VI/1-4
- Object copyright Historical Museum of the City of Kraków
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums project
The costume for the role of Lady Macbeth was given to the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków as the inheritance after the actress and singer Jadwiga Mrozowska, who had connections with the Kraków stage in the years 1902–1905. From 1905 the artist settled down in Italy, where she performed as an opera singer.more
The costume for the role of Lady Macbeth was given to the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków as the inheritance after the actress and singer Jadwiga Mrozowska, who had connections with the Kraków stage in the years 1902–1905. From 1905 the artist settled down in Italy, where she performed as an opera singer.
Jadwiga Mrozowska commissioned this costume with the thought of her role in Macbeth by William Shakespeare during her guest appearances at the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków. The actress appeared in this play on 4 January 1913. The premiere of the performance had been held two years earlier, on 30 December 1911, and it was directed by Maksymilian Węgrzyn.
The costume for the role of Lady Macbeth was designed and made especially for Mrozowska by the famous draughtsman and theatrical designer Luigi Sapelli, called Caramba, from Milan. Interestingly enough, Luigi Sapelli Caramba was also the founder and owner of the famous Art House Caramba company, sewing costumes for the most important theatres, including La Scala in Milan, Le Fenice in Venice, Teatro Regio in Turin, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
The costume for the role of Lady Macbeth was styled in a medieval manner. It consists of a dress, a coat, a crown and low-heeled shoes. The dress was sewn of Indian red silk, ornamented with diagonal checks with beads resembling precious stones sewn on in the middle and on the connections of the checks. It is well-fitted at the top, with an elongated waist; the lower part is finely pleated. It has double sleeves: the outer ones are wide and pleated; the inner ones are narrow, trimmed with yellow beads. The top of the dress is embroidered with a golden thread. There is a decorated sash on the hips with hanging strings finished with tassels and beads. In the middle of the strings are two metal rectangles with an embossed representation of a bird. The shoulders are covered with a coat fastened with a decorative band and a metal buckle, and also with a bird motif. The sides and the bottom of the coat are trimmed with a band with the motif of a stylised twig. The slide shoes (manufactured by the Panni company), with slightly elongated points and low heels, are made of the same fabric as the dress. The crown was made of brass sheet, in the form of a broad band decorated with colourful glasses stylised in cabochons (a cabochon is a precious or semi-precious stone with a spherical, semi-spherical, or elliptic cut, used in jewellery since antiquity, especially in the Middle Ages) and topped with decorative pinnacles.
There is an anecdote connected with the creation of the costume. It is alleged that Luigi Caramba was surprised to hear that Mrozowska wanted to play the tragic figure of Lady Macbeth, as she was rather the dramatic-characteristic actress whose domain were parts from the modernistic repertoire, in which she delightedly presented the psyche of a contemporary woman. After one of the fittings, the designer decided that he must see the actress on stage in this role as only an artist of an exceptional sense of style was able to wear and present that costume. And despite the lack of relevant features defining the tragic actress, Mrozowska played the part convincingly enough. The father of the artist, sitting in the proscenium gallery during the play, was to whisper to his daughter finishing the dramatic dialogue: “Jadzia, you are mean”. And Luigi Caramba did come to Kraków to admire the actress during her guest appearances on stage at the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków.
Elaborated by Agnieszka Kowalska (Historical Museum of the City of Kraków), © all rights reserved