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Florence circa 1900: The Photographic View

Collectors, artists, scholars

The Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz was founded in 1897 with the intention of providing "scientific instruments to those intending to independently expand and further their studies in Italy by directly observing the monuments". At the time it consisted of two divisions, a small library and a collection of images, at first temporarily accommodated in the house of the Director, Heinrich Brockhaus (1858-1941). With the wealth represented by its artistic treasures and Medieval and Renaissance buildings, Florence in the 19th century was not only a tourist attraction and centre for art and antiques but, in virtue of these characteristics, it had developed into a place where the young discipline of art history could flourish. Florence's international cultural scene was frequented both by contemporary artists who also taught at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts, founded in 1563, and by scholars, philosophers, art collectors and antiquarians who, together, inspired the social life in the various areas of the city. Stefano Bardini (1836-1922), art dealer and collector, was one of the leading figures of greatest prominence and influence. In Tuscany he systematically acquired large numbers of works of arts of all kinds which he then offered to various museums and collectors. Besides Palazzo Mozzo-Bardini, in 1902 he bought Villa Galletti (situated above Piazzale Michelangelo) where, among other things, a wooden model of the design for the Cathedral façade by Ferdinando Lasinio, from 1871, was kept.


Studio of the painter and Academy professor Edoardo Gelli (1852-1933) in Florence, photo: Brogi, circa 1890, albumen print 19.4 x 25.1 cm, inv. no. 178327

Inner courtyard of Villa Galletti with a wooden model of the design of the Cathedral façade by Ferdinando Lasinio dated 1871, photo: Brogi, circa 1906, albumen print 19.3 x 24.6 cm, inv. no. 246195

Madonnas in relief from Stefano Bardini's collection in Palazzo Mozzi Bardini, circa 1900, photo: unidentified photographer, two silver gelatin prints on mounting board 35.5 x 51.7 cm, inv. no. 359857

Setting for the auction of wrought iron ornaments at Villino Volpi, photo: unidentified photographer, 1914, silver gelatin prints 19.5 x 25.7 cm, inv. no. 435643

Sculptures from the Bardini collection of Florence, sold at auction in 1918 in New York, photo: unidentified photographer, circa 1918, silver gelatin print with handwritten auction catalogue numbers 14 x 24.8 cm, inv. no. 430722

Paintings from the Bardini collection of Florence, sold at auction in 1918 in New York, photo: unknown photographer, circa 1918, silver gelatin print with handwritten auction catalogue numbers 19.8 x 24.1 cm, inv. no. 432839

Collection of photographic material ("Pittura italiana”) from the circle of Jacob Burckhardt, circa 1900?, photo: Stefano Fancelli, photograph and digital print, inv. no. 292027-294908

The Institute in the private residence of Heinrich Brockhaus, Viale Principessa Margherita 21, photo: unidentified photographer, 1897/1902, baryta print 18.2 x 23.7 cm, inv. no. 286195

Heinrich Brockhaus (1858-1941), director of the KHI from 1897 to 1912, photo: unidentified photographer, circa 1910, baryta print 22 x 16.8 cm, inv. no. 562311




© KHI in Florence | 29.09.2020 20:21:09