Spanish puppeteer. Designer, illustrator, painter, sculptor, and designer, Salvador Bartolozzi was a multi-faceted artist. He is possibly one of the most prominent Spanish puppeteers of the 1930s, most noted for his very innovative work with children’s literature. He began his artistic training in Paris, where he lived for six years. In the 1920s, he worked for the publishing house, Calleja, where he distinguished himself as a great propagator of children’s literature in Spain.
In 1929, he founded a puppet theatre called Teatro Pinocho (Pinocchio Theatre) that opened at the Teatro de la Comedia de Madrid (Madrid Comedy Theatre) where he also designed a modern stage curtain and a number of large-sized sets. Bartolozzi distinguished himself as a set designer for the theatres of entrepreneur, Cipriano Rivas Cherif, producing sets for the stages of works by Federico García Lorca, Ramón María del Valle Inclán, and Manuel de Falla.
His first puppets served as the main characters in his children’s stories – Pipo and Pipa, Pinocho (Pinocchio) and Chapet. Other characters include the witch Piruli, the cat Trespelos, the wolf Tragabolas, Pulgarcito (Tom Thumb), Caperucita (Red Riding Hood), Barba Azul (Bluebeard), the sister of Cenicienta (Cinderella), and many others drawn from children’s literature.
Bartolozzi directed every aspect of his productions, from design through fabrication, painting, costuming and eventually manipulating his own angular, vividly coloured puppets, which reflected a very modern aesthetic, similar to that of the avant-garde. He wrote dozens of texts for his puppet theatre whose main feature was short, quick dialogue. He often collaborated with Magda Donato, with whom he also wrote several children’s stories. In his vast repertoire, the characters of Pipo and Pipa stand out. On several occasions, he presented shows with live actors which incorporated puppets or mixed the two genres.
Exiled after Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War, Salvador Bartolozzi moved to Mexico in 1941.