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„Great to see you again.“ Early Italian Photography from the Stadel Collection

Jennifer Höhne

From the Journal: Rundbrief Fotografie

Published online:

19 Mar 2024



Italy, with its promise of world-class art, topographical variety and the potential for self-discovery, has been a place of longing at least since the publication of Wolfgang von Goethe’s „Italian Journey“ (1813–1817), and probably even longer. The invention of the railway made the Italian experience accessible to much broader swathes of the population, who set off for the south with photography hot on their heels. With tourism flourishing, more and more photographers opened studios in the great cultural centres of Rome, Naples, Florence and Venice. There, art lovers could buy souvenir photographs of the monuments they so admired. Meanwhile, the still nascent discipline of art history found in photography a valuable resource for research and scholarship. One of the first to recognize photography’s importance to art history was the painter and pioneer of the discipline Johann David Passavant (1787–1861), who began collecting photographs for the Stadelsche Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt am Main, now the Stadel Museum, in the 1850s. Visitors to the museum’s exhibition „Images of Italy. Places of Longing in Early Photography” that ran from 23 February to 3 September 2023 were able to marvel at some 90 images from this former teaching collection and so to embark on an Italian journey of their own.

Other articles in this issue:

Rundbrief Fotografie Issues

Volume 31 (2024)
Volume 30 (2023)
Volume 29 (2022)

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