Puccini’s “Tosca”, as told by Metlicovitz

A great painter and set designer from Trieste, Leopoldo Metlicovitz (1869-1944), illustrated twelve postcards on the occasion of the first performance of Puccini’s “Tosca” at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome, on January 14th 1900.

In 1891, Metlicovitz had joined the lithographic workshop of music publisher Ricordi – whose director, Giulio Ricordi, was responsible for the discovery of Giacomo Puccini’s genius. He worked under artistic director Adolfo Hohenstein, until he took on the position when Hohenstein retired.

Metlicovitz’s watercolors represent key scenes from Puccini’s opera, starring painter Mario Cavaradossi and his lover Floria Tosca.

Set in Rome between the Basilica of Sant’Andrea della Valle and Castel Sant’Angelo, the three-acts melodrama takes place on June 14th 1800, the day of the Battle of Marengo. Cavaradossi saves a Bonapartist friend of his, Angelotti, from the clutches of the head of the papal police, Baron Scarpia. The latter weaves a wicked plan to pit the two lovers – Cavaradossi and Tosca – against each other, catch the rebel, and have the painter shot.

Tosca will still have the strength to take revenge, killing Scarpia, before taking her own life, jumping from the battlements of Castel Sant’Angelo.

A dramatic story that inspired wonderful music and beautiful art.

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della "Tosca" di Puccini

The Church of Sant'Andrea della Valle

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della "Tosca" di Puccini

Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner, takes refuge in a side chapel

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della "Tosca" di Puccini

Cavaradossi painting while the sacristan looks on

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della "Tosca" di Puccini

Cavaradossi kissing Tosca

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della "Tosca" di Puccini

Scarpia offering his hand to Tosca

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della "Tosca" di Puccini

One of Scarpia’s henchmen delivering news

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della "Tosca" di Puccini

Scarpia offering holy water to Tosca

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della "Tosca" di Puccini

Tosca hovering over the tortured Cavaradossi

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della "Tosca" di Puccini

Tosca with knife after stabbing Scarpia

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della "Tosca" di Puccini

Cavaradossi in front of the firing squad

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della "Tosca" di Puccini

Tosca and the dead Cavaradossi alone on top of the Castel Sant’Angelo

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della "Tosca" di Puccini

Tosca laying over Cavaradossi’s body

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della "Tosca" di Puccini

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