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An Art Dealer's Photographs: The Collection of Elia Volpi

The Vannini Parenti donation

The photographic legacy of Elia Volpi was donated to the photo library by the Vannini Parenti family in 1983. Mario Vannini Parenti was the art dealer's son-in-law, having married his daughter Marina. Of the 3,500 photographs of the legacy kept in the photo library there are also quite a few that cannot be traced to Volpi but that are connected in various ways to Mario Vannini Parenti. After having studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence, the latter emigrated to South America in 1913 and in Buenos Aires he traded in works of art. On the occasion of the centenary of the independence of Peru, the community of Italians resident there entrusted him with the establishment of a Museum of Italian Art in Lima (opened in 1923), for which he collected numerous works by artists of the era. Together with Volpi's photographs, the photo library inventoried the images of these new works as well as those of the paintings belonging to the Vannini Parenti collection as the "Vannini Parenti Donation", marking them with the relative stamp in the lower right-hand corner of the card mount. Only in rare cases, such as that of a photograph of a baldachin from the 16th century, do the card mounts bear a further reference to Volpi. This very donation demonstrates that in-depth research work and the dynamic management of the material of the photo archive allow not only the various “biographical” layers of the individual photographs to be brought to light, but also the discovery of ever new and unexpected references.


Unknown photographer: Violin player, Vincenzo Irolli, Lima, Museo d'Arte Italiana. Collotype, 22,2 x 16,3 cm, inv. no. 433481

Brogi: Women on a window, Silvestro Lega, Milano, private collection (formerly Mario Vannini Parenti collection). Silver bromide gelatine print, 26,2 x 17,7 cm, 1940, inv. no. 433489

Unidentified photographer: Tabernacle with Madonna and Child in the Bardini collection, put up for sale by auction Bardini 1918 New York. Silver gelatine print with handwritten numbers based on the auction catalogue, 24,8 x 14,1 cm, c.1918, inv.no.430733

Unidentified photographer: Virgin Annunciate, Alceo Dossena, Unknown location. Silver bromide gelatine, 25 x 14,8 cm, 1920/30, inv. no. 430765

Unidentified photographer: Terrestrial globe and celestial sphere, formerly Bardini collection, put up for sale by auction 1918, New York. Silver gelatine print with handwritten numbers based on auction catalogue, 17,8 x 13,6-13,9cm, c.1918, inv.no.434760

Unidentified photographer: Lectern, Venice, 18th century, put up for sale by auction Volpi, New York 1917, 16,7 x 10 cm, c. 1917, inv. no. 435056

Unidentified photographer: Baldachin, Italy, early 16th century, formerly Florence, art trade (Volpi?). Silver bromide gelatine print, 20,7 x 16,4 cm, 1900/10?, inv. no. 434609

Fancelli, Stefano: Donation Vannini Parenti, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Florence, Photo Library, Digital photograph 2013




© KHI in Florence | 28.11.2020 11:30:17