"Naples and its surroundings": The Photographic Documentation of Historical and Artistic Heritage of Naples and Southern Italy (1861-1914).
Viviana Costagliola, Ph.D.
In 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi commissioned his friend Alexandre Dumas to write the "archaeological, historical and picturesque history of Naples and its provinces". The following year, in France on “Le Monde illustré”, began the publication of "Naples et ses provinces", in the form of a series of articles. Dumas accompanied the reader in a world almost suspended between myth and history, starting from Chiatamone Palace, passing through the tomb of Virgil, up to Miseno and Baia.
Wanting to imagine the illustrations for this work, nothing would be more suitable than the photographs that were taken in Naples at that time by the numerous photographers, mostly foreigners, who established their operational headquarters in the city: Alphonse Bernaud (from 1856), Vittorio Grillet and Giorgio Sommer (from 1857), Giorgio Conrad and Robert Rive, just to mention a few.
This project aims to study the photographs of the city of Naples and its historical-artistic heritage, made by Italian and foreign photographers residing in the city, in the period between the Italian unification and the outbreak of the First World War, together with a previously unknown corpus of photographs.