MIRABILIALINARI.10 short films on 10 objects from the Alinari archives
MirabiliAlinari is the new project by Fondazione Alinari: 10 short films passionately presented by experts to discover the Alinari wonders, a surprising and extraordinary photographic archive, partly still unknown.
Each short film focuses on an object chosen for its rarity, preciousness and for the story it is able to tell, highlighting the experiments of early photographers, the material substance of analogic photography and its "curious" - for us today - modes of fruition.
The project starts from the oldest item in the Alinari collection, the "Florence under the snow" daguerreotype, dated 1841, and lands to autochrome, the first twentieth-century color photographic process.
In this 10-step journey through the archive, not just photographic techniques are being discussed: each object brings with it a particular story that shed light on broader aspects of the social (the Crisanti board) and political (the Congrés de Paris album) history of the 19th century or on the poetics of an artist, as in the case of Wilhelm von Gloeden's camera.
Just as the pilgrims of the Middle Ages used the Mirabilia urbis, the first guides to the monuments of Rome, with this project we intend to accompany the curious and enthusiasts on a visit to the extraordinary Archive that was established under the name of the great and admirable Alinari Brothers.
The project was made possible thanks toFondazione Sistema Toscana
With the contribution ofUnicoop Firenze
On the occasion of"Archivi Aperti" initiative by Rete Fotografia
The daguerreotype of Florence under the snow
The daguerreotype portraying Florence under snow – The oldest photograph in the Alinari Archives (1841 ca.)
illustrated by Emanuela Sesti, art historian
Emanuela Sesti illustrates the oldest photographic item in the Archive, an early and unique picture of urban landscape under a snowfall, at the dawning of photography, in a cultural atmosphere where science and experimentation were growing intertwined.
The Congrès de Paris Album
TheCongrès de Paris Album - A valuable photographic source for European history (1856)
illustrated by Luigi Tomassini, photography historian
The victors and the vanquished gather at the Congress to sign the peace conditions at the end of the Crimean war. The powerful of the planet stand in pose in front of the photographic lens. Luigi Tomassini tells us how political hierarchies can be traced in the composition sequence of the album at a time when photography was gradually taking an important role in communication.
Von Gloeden's camera
Von Gloeden's camera - Artist's shots
illustrated by Monica Maffioli, photography historian
Wilhelm von Gloeden's 30x40 cm glass negative plate camera was used by the photographer to make many of his famous images, such as "Cain" and "Elegie". Monica Maffioli guides us through the artist's creative universe and the tortuous events that accompanied the history of Baron von Gloeden and his archive.
Portrait of a little girl in daguerreotype
Portrait of a little girl in daguerreotype - The restoration of the Unique Objects Fund
illustrated by Barbara Cattaneo, restorer at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure
Barbara Cattaneo introduces us to the world of conservation and restoration of extraordinary objects such as daguerreotypes, images obtained through the oldest photographic process. The different materials used to preserve the precious photos and its frames, such as cases or fabric coverings, are sometimes able to return surprising information about the subjects depicted.
The ambrotypes of the Crisanti board
The ambrotypes of the Crisanti board - The sampler of an early establishment (c. 1859-1865)
illustrated by Francesca Bongioanni, conservator, Fondazione Alinari per la Fotografia
On the borders of the Church State, photographer Paolo Crisanti exhibits the advertising sampler of his business: 57 portraits, ambrotypes, gathered in a single frame. As a whole, the board represents a unique testimony, a social cross-section of the small community of Acquapendente in the second half of the 19th century.
Carlo Ponti's megaletoscope
Carlo Ponti's megaletoscope - An ingenious piece of machinery
illustrated by Anna Giatti, conservator and restorer
Carlo Ponti's Megaletoscope, dated around 1870, introduces us into the realm of entertainment, in the cultural gatherings of the 19th-century upper middle class. Anna Giatti illustrates its operation and spectacular effects such as the transition from day to night of a Venetian view, or the eruption of Vesuvius, revealing its curious mechanisms. An old example of the investigation, as relevant as ever, on the relationship between reality, vision and perception.
Negatives on paper
Negatives on paper - The calotypes in the Alinari collections
illustrated by Marta Magrinelli, archivist
Calotypes, precious and rare paper negatives belonging to the Alinari collections, are the first process that makes photography reproducible. With Marta Magrinelli we retrace the main stages that marked the history of this technique and appreciate the evocative charm of these precious and fragile works on paper.