Since its origin, photography was immediately involved in a lively debate about the relationships that this new technology could have with Art, its production, its exploitation and its conservation: even if it was perceived as a potential threat by someone, several voices emphasized the revolutionary influence that photography could have on the arts. It soon became clear that the new media could also be used for the documentation of events and cultural assets, and thus as a tool for knowledge and safeguarding of the artistic and monumental heritage. Photography will soon inherit the role of nature’s copyist traditionally attributed to engraving but, due to its technological limitations, its first subjects will be limited to monuments, sculptures and landscapes. Soon enough cameras will accompany Grand Tour travellers that, in the meantime, were adding new stops to their traditional itinerary also thanks to the development in the transport sector, such as Sicily and its treasures. Indeed, before 1860, for most people the Grand Voyage usually stopped at Naples and Paestum. Only after the Expedition of the Thousand led by Garibaldi and the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, Sicily will welcome many more visitors and a number of foreign photographers (mostly French) will decide to settle in the island, to escape perhaps the strong competition in their country. In this new historical setting, the production of these photographers plays a vital role in creating a new Sicilian identity and in spreading its image outside Italy, without failing to affect native photographers. Following the steps of those photographic Great Journey pioneers, we can analyse the way of representing Sicilian heritage elsewhere, reconstruct the itineraries of foreign photographers and identify their favourite subjects during the second half of the 19th century, before the definitive affirmation of mass tourism which will considerably alter how the photographic image is conceived and commercialised.

Laura Di Fede (24-25/10/2019).An external gaze: the Sicilian cultural heritage photographed by foreign travellers during the second half of 19th century.

An external gaze: the Sicilian cultural heritage photographed by foreign travellers during the second half of 19th century

Laura Di Fede
Writing – Original Draft Preparation

Abstract

Since its origin, photography was immediately involved in a lively debate about the relationships that this new technology could have with Art, its production, its exploitation and its conservation: even if it was perceived as a potential threat by someone, several voices emphasized the revolutionary influence that photography could have on the arts. It soon became clear that the new media could also be used for the documentation of events and cultural assets, and thus as a tool for knowledge and safeguarding of the artistic and monumental heritage. Photography will soon inherit the role of nature’s copyist traditionally attributed to engraving but, due to its technological limitations, its first subjects will be limited to monuments, sculptures and landscapes. Soon enough cameras will accompany Grand Tour travellers that, in the meantime, were adding new stops to their traditional itinerary also thanks to the development in the transport sector, such as Sicily and its treasures. Indeed, before 1860, for most people the Grand Voyage usually stopped at Naples and Paestum. Only after the Expedition of the Thousand led by Garibaldi and the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, Sicily will welcome many more visitors and a number of foreign photographers (mostly French) will decide to settle in the island, to escape perhaps the strong competition in their country. In this new historical setting, the production of these photographers plays a vital role in creating a new Sicilian identity and in spreading its image outside Italy, without failing to affect native photographers. Following the steps of those photographic Great Journey pioneers, we can analyse the way of representing Sicilian heritage elsewhere, reconstruct the itineraries of foreign photographers and identify their favourite subjects during the second half of the 19th century, before the definitive affirmation of mass tourism which will considerably alter how the photographic image is conceived and commercialised.
Photography, Cultural Heritage, Travel & Tourism, History of photography, XIXth Century History, Sicily
Laura Di Fede (24-25/10/2019).An external gaze: the Sicilian cultural heritage photographed by foreign travellers during the second half of 19th century.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/421197
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