The National Historical Museum presents the exhibition Italiae. From the Alinari Brothers to the masters of contemporary photography, in which Italy is reflected through images / photographs divided into three groups: Landscapes, Works and Portraits. The exhibition, curated by Rita Scartoni and Luca Criscenti, was open to the public from September 2 – 25, 2022.


Italiae. From the Alinari brothers to the masters of contemporary photography tells through images the history of a century and a half documented by the masters of Italian photography, starting from the Alinari brothers to contemporary artists such as Emiliano Mancuso, Luigi Busolati, Andrea Frazzeta, etc. The purpose of the exhibition is to create a dialogue between photographs that start from talbotics to contemporary photography. Through the photographs of more than 75 photographers, it is reflected in time – 160 years, a geographical, artistic and cultural journey that documents a variety of multifaceted themes about Italy.

The exhibited photographs are divided into three corners dedicated to: Landscape, Works and Portraits and each of them has three subdivisions named according to the content of the images.

The Landscape corner combines scenes from nature, architecture and man, as some of them appear under pale monochrome tones, while the rest with bold painterly colors. These photographs are conceptually divided into three parts: Nature spaces, the nature of the landscape and its evolution over time can be observed; The designed landscape focuses on the relationship of man with the rural landscape, made in homage to some of the masters of Italian photography. Meanwhile, Human Space focuses on the relationship between people and space (whether this is a city or a village), emphasizing the element of ‘time’, based on photographs taken by early photographers, then reinterpreted by contemporary photographers. These photographs were taken by: The Alinari Brothers, Massimo Siragusa, Henri Chouanard, Mario Giacomelli, Franco Fontana, Alex Majoli, Andrea Frazzetta, Vittorio Alinari, Stefano De Luigi, Gabriele Basilico, Michele Vestrini, Stabilimento Anderson, Vincenzo Balocchi, Luigi Ghirri, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Vittorio Sella, Giovanni Crupi, Fosco Maraini, Stabilimento Anderson.

In the Works corner, the photographs focus on artistic creations and people involved in work environments to highlight creativity and its development. It is treated in three groups, starting with Earth Knowledge, in which the focused spaces of the agro-food sector are observed. The knowledge of the hands, continues with the creativity of artists from the creation of marble sculptures, to the knowledge accompanied by technology as an aid for the realization of portrait photography in the studio, then expanding into broader themes. Whereas, Future Exercise focuses on production machinery as an important role in society and well-being. The large spaces dedicated to these devices are photographed in the presence of people in the habitat of the work environment. Photographed by: Fosco Maraini, Giorgio Sommer, The Alinari Brothers, Bruno Stefani, Ferdinando Scianna, Alex Majoli, Mauro Puccini, Maurizio Galimberti, Bruno Zanzottera, Alessandro Gandolfi, Otto Zencker, Wanda Wulz, Fosco Maraini, Luigi Bussolati, Italo Zannier, Massimo Siragusa, Studio Betti Borra, Giorgio Benvenuti, Lorenzo Maccotta.

The exhibition concludes with the corner dedicated to Portraits. Portraits and the human being have always been present in the journey of the art of photography. Figures and portraits reflect the identity of Italian society from the photographing of classical sculptural artifacts of the Renaissance period, following to the Alinari Brothers Photographic Studio, from portraits belonging to the 19th century to the self-portraits of Cristina Nunez. While in A century of life, photography goes beyond the studio, connecting the portrait with everyday and social life. Finally, the Chronicle of Love includes human love relationships up to the greatness of parental love. Portrait photographs are taken by: The Alinari Brothers, Stabilimento Brogi, Cristina Nunez, Andrea Frazzetta, Emiliano Mancuso, Carlo Mollino, Vincenzo Balocchi, Gian Paolo Barbieri, Francesco Paolo Michetti, Emiliano Mancuso, Cesare Colombo, Nino Migliori, Wilhelm Von Gloeden, Piergiorgio Branzi, Luigi Leoni, Mario Spada.