Interior view of Orange’s Ancient Theatre

Adolphe et Émile Rouargue

Circa 1835
curiosity cabinet

The Ancient Theatre’s interior is shown here after the houses which had taken over the stage wall and the terraces were demolished.  After it was burnt, the theatre lost its main function.  In the Middle Ages, a sentry box was built on top of the stage wall at a height of 36 metres, a good spot from which the castle on Saint-Eutrope hill could be defended and watched over.  The monument was then gradually taken over by houses.  This little neighbourhood, sheltered by the wall, had a little street running through it, leading to the Church of Saint-Florent.  It was only in 1825 that the Historic Monuments Organisation decided to clean up the theatre.   

In this piece of work, the stage area is overrun with all kinds of architectural fragments: columns, covings, tents etc.  Two groups of visitors are observing and pointing at the area’s particularities.  
Orange is now famous because of its Ancient Theatre.  The stage wall in this engraving appears to have been preserved remarkably well , flanked by its parascaenia (lateral buildings).  In this version, the eastern parascaenia has been drawn.  The remains of the cavea can be seen in a semicircle along with traces of spiral staircases which are supported by the steep rock on the Saint-Eutrope hill.