Size Matters. Scale and Measure in Photography


As a research tool, photography constructed the visual support for art historical taxonomies; it visualized the tenets of art history, which indulged in discussions over subject matter, iconography and style. Such capacity to standardize, to link and to group served commercial goals. The photograph of a room in the Museo Bardini shows a wall covered by carefully-arranged Quattrocento Madonnas, a display that reveals the conceptual climate of the time. Photographs also contributed to heighten nationalistic feelings. By presenting dozens of views of Italian monuments in the space of a single folio, the Brogi catalogue sheets constructed a visual argument for the recent unification of Italy (1861-70). By leveling down the differences between small terracotta tondos and massive domes, the sheets presented the new country as homogeneous, in line with the democratic propaganda of the Risorgimento, which presented Italy as a historically compact and aesthetically uniform land.

Unidentified Photographer: Donatello workshop, Terracotta Madonnas, Bardini Museum, Florence, barit paper print, 19.5 x 29.6 cm, before 1986 (shot around 1900), inv. no. 431190

Unidentified Photographer: 16th-century wooden consoles from the Bardini Museum in Florence with handwritten auction numbers, New York?, albumin print, 18.0 x 24.6 cm, before 1918, inv. no. 435049

Unidentified Photographer: Collection of medieval earrings, Knin Museum (Croatia), silver-gelatin print, before 1934, 21,0 x 16,0 cm (left photograph), 21,0 x 15,7 cm (right photograph), inv. no. 99689

Unidentified photographer: Ancient sculptures of deities (Ares Ludovisi, Hermes, Mercuries) from Roman and Florentine museums, albumin prints, 13.5 x 9.4 cm / 13.5 x 9.4 cm / 13.7 x 9.3 cm / 13.4 x 9.3 cm, before 1900, inv. no. 11497

Fratelli Alinari: Michelangelo’s Prisoners still in Buontalenti’s Grotto, Boboli Garden, Florence, h. 256/263/267/277 cm, albumin prints, 14.9 x 9.7 cm/13,4 x 9,8 cm/ 13,4 x 9,8 cm/ 13.4 x 9.9 cm, before 1908, inv. no. 10880

Unidentified Photographer: extras in costumes at the Santa Maria Novella cloister, Florence, silver-gelatin print, 17.1 x 23.9 cm, before 1934, inv. no. 97718

Ivo Bazzecchi: Cavalcade of 16th-century Italian and German armours, Stibbert Museum, Florence, baryt print, 17.1 x 23.9 cm, before 1975, inv. no. 535734

Roberto Sigismondi: manuscripts of Turin’s State Archive, baryt print, 17.4 x 32.5 cm, 1987, inv. no. 583659

Filippo Belli: ensemble of 18th-century chair, console and female bust, albumin print, 25.6 x 19.1 cm, around 1876/1880, inv. no. 242016

Sales catalogue page of the photographic collection Brogi, Alta Italia series # 24: Turin, with miniature images

© KHI in Florence | 19.09.2021 12:55:05