periaktos


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periaktos

(ˌpɛrɪˈæktɒs)
n
(Theatre) an ancient device used for changing theatre scenery, usually consisting of a revolving triangular prism with different scenes painted on each face; the device was heavily used in the Renaissance
References in periodicals archive ?
For those who don't know already, a periaktos - the plural is periaktoi - originated as an ancient Greek invention, using a wooden triangular "prism" with a different painting on each face, so it could be turned quickly to create a scene change.
The earliest technique for changing the rear decoration in the Italian Renaissance productions at the Florentine Medici court appears to have been the use of a large periaktos for the 1568 production of Il Fabii, designed by Baldassare Lanci da Urbino, in the Salone dei Cinquecento of the Palazzo Vecchio.
The stage floor was raked, but in order for the periaktos to revolve, its bottom would have had to have been horizontal, thus revealing the gap below the periaktos.