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Fratelli Alinari: A Photographic Tradition

Fratelli Alinari: A Photographic Tradition

The Changing Face of Italy, 1855-1935

23 June to 19 September 2004

This exhibition, organised in collaboration with Fratelli Alinari Fondazione per la Storia della Fotografia will feature over 110 photographs drawn from the archives of Fratelli Alinari, the renowned photographic studio that documented the changing cultural and social landscape of Italy throughout the latter half of the 19 th and much of the 20 th century. Vintage prints and original glass-plate negatives, as well as a number of modern prints from the original plates, not only vividly trace Italy’s relatively late transition from a rural economy to an industrialised nation but also reveal the development of a photographic aesthetic, in which unexpected angles and detailed views serve as a means of reinterpreting the country’s sculpture and architectural landmarks.

The Alinari revolutionised the way that ancient monuments were photographed and were the first to document works in museums photographically. Their subjects also include working life, sporting events, street scenes and portraits from the royal family and politicians of Florence to street urchins of Naples.

The firm was founded in 1852 by Leopoldo Alinari, with the assistance of Giuseppe Bardi, the printer to whom he was apprenticed as an engraver, at a time when standards of photography and techniques of reproduction were being revolutionised, and has recently celebrated 150 years at the forefront of photography in Italy.


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