US exhibition explores European fireworks' history

by IANS |

Washington, June 24 (IANS) How important were fireworks for European public events in the 17-18th centuries? An exhibition here answers this question with its collection of firework records.

In the Library: 'Pageantry and Pyrotechnics in the European Fete Book', a new installation from the National Gallery of Art Library here, presents an array of books and manuals that illustrate the technological and artistic evolution of firework displays and methods for recording them in Europe.

"Fireworks likely originated in Asia around the ninth century. Although their development is most often attributed to China, they were also used in ancient India. During the Middle Ages, the technology found its way to Europe," the library said.

By the 14th century, fireworks were used at religious festivals and public entertainment as well as in military applications. It also appeared in books of science, which often included information on gunpowder and its uses. 

During the Renaissance, so-called fire masters created increasingly complex displays, resulting in formation of pyrotechnic schools in Europe.

In the 17th century, artists began to visually capture these pyrotechnic delights in 'fete books', primarily illustrated through engravings. They described important public occasions and held information about explosive displays used to entertain the attendees of such events.

Some artists focused on individual rockets and effects, while others created an overall sense of the spectacle, prioritising expression over the accuracy, the library said.

The show was opened to public on Monday.

Latest News
Russia's first space launch for 2020 delayed Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 10:37 AM
Coronavirus toll in China reaches 41, 1,287 infected Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 10:29 AM
Building collapses at Bhubaneswar airport, 1 killed Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 10:24 AM
TRS takes early leads in Telangana municipal polls Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 10:20 AM
Merkel praises Turkey's efforts in hosting Syrian refugees Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 11:29 PM
Trade wars could cause new global crisis, warns Italian PM Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 11:18 PM
EC orders FIR against Kapil Mishra over 'Mini-Pak' remark Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 11:00 PM
Congress to read out Preamble on Republic Day Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 10:52 PM
Kerala MP not to attend R-Day as Brazilian Prez the Chief Guest Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 10:49 PM
CEC Arora takes over as new chairman of FEMBoSA Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 10:44 PM
Govt should fund public education: HC on JNU fee hike Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 10:42 PM
Court rejects Jagan's plea for exemption from presence Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 10:38 PM
Tried to be Delhi's elder son in last 5 years: Kejriwal Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 10:29 PM
Assam Rifles DG to meet Shah on IPS officer's charge against jawan Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 10:28 PM
Aadhaar, hartal, chawl, shaadi included in Oxford dictionary Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 10:26 PM