State Museum and Exhibition Centre for Photography ROSPHOTO and Alinari 24 Ore introduce the exhibition of the great masters of Italian photography Sight of Italy, 1841-1941 from the collection of the Museum of the History of Photography in Florence.

This exhibition invites on a journey into the history of Italian photography from 1841 to 1941. The great name photographers begin with the first daguerreotypists in Italy, such as Amici and Duroni, to move on to the metaphysical images rendered in the paper negative technique by well-known calotypists, such as the Florentine Veraci. They are followed by the golden period of photography with works by the leading Italian photographic studios located in the most important Italian cities visited by the Grand Tour tourists: Venice, with the outstanding works of Bresolin, Ponti, Perini, Florence with the famous Fratelli Alinari and Brogi studios, or Rome, with photographers of the second half of the 1850s such as Caneva, James Anderson, Macpherson and many others. Lastly there is the nineteenth-century production in Southern Italy, in particular Naples, where great masters such as Giorgio Sommer and Robert Rive worked for decades. They were of foreign origins, but lived and worked all their lives in Naples.

The drama of the earthquake which devastated Messina and Reggio in 1908 has been chosen as a particularly significant and symbolic moment of the passage of Italy into the twentieth century. The earthquake was documented by all the most important photographers of the time and is here shown in the dramatic images taken by Luca Comerio and von Gloeden, the latter in particular an outstanding figure in turn of the century photography. The early twentieth century in Italy is celebrated by a few of the best known photographers of the artistic current known as Pictorialism, with Guido Rey, Peretti Griva, and the avant-garde, such as Futurism with Paladini, Wanda Wulz, Castagneri, Parisio up to the surrealist aesthetics of Mollino and the first neo-realist experiments by Alberto Lattuada.

The exhibition is part of the official program of the Year of Italian Language and Culture in Russia.