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postcards from italy June 8, 2009

Posted by mmonla in Uncategorized.
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“Pour moi, j’émets le vœu que la photographie, au lieu de tomber dans le domaine de l’industrie, du commerce, rentre dans celui de l’art.” – Gustave Le Gray

(I hope that photography, rather than falling into the realm of industry and commerce, enters the world of art.)

Musée d’Orsay is hosting an exhibition on the early days of photography in Italy. Admittedly, the name of the exhibit – “voir l’Italie et mourir” – sounds exceptionally cheesy to me but I’m sure there’s a smart reference in there I’m not getting…

Most of the art shown, but not exclusively, is that of early photographic mercenaries  drawn to Italy like countless other artists before them. The themes are recurrent (people, landscapes, archaeology…) and the exhibit is nicely organized around the main subjects.

Fundamentally, it doesn’t really matter what Italy may have looked like around then; the work doesn’t aim to convey an image of the landscape but rather a perception of it. Many of the compositions, lighting, choice of subject… are no less evocative than their painterly counterparts. Perhaps this is partly a consequence of the young art’s early influences.

carlo naya - venise

Carlo Naya – Venice

Gioacchino Altobelli - rome forum

Gioacchino Affobelli – Rome

gustave le gray - palerme

Gustave Le Gray – Palermo

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