The architectural forms of Jacopo Sansovino's Libreria di San Marco in Venice, begun in 1537, have generally been interpreted in terms of a revival of the ancient Roman forum. Another way of looking at the building, suggested here, concentrates on its theatrical nature, both in terms of the typology of architectural forms and in terms of use. Sansovino's library completed the Piazzetta in Venice as a theatrical space, and it did so at the same time that the modern theater with boxes was first developed in Venice. The great seventeenth-century scene designer Giacomo Torelli in turn used the space completed by Sansovino as a set for the opera Bellerofonte, produced in Venice in 1642. In Torelli's scene, Venice is shown as a theater of justice.

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