Architecture: The Splendor of Rome, Italy in Photography

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P1060013In this post we reference two books in the English language written by eminent scholars in their day.

The first book Rome and the Campagna by author Robert Burn, M.A. is an extensive work and carries the subtitle: A Historical and Topographical Description of the Site, Buildings and Neighbourhood of Ancient Rome.

P1060016The author Robert Burn was the Praelector in Latin Literature and Archeology, as well as, a Fellow and late Tutor of Trinity College in Cambridge, England.

The volume was published in 1876, but in the preface dated 1870 the author briefly discusses his difficulties in writing the book and his previous trips to Rome. (On a historical note, the book was written before the Unification of Italy)

The wood engraver Orlando Jewett died before the completion of the engraving work and the balance had to be done by his successors, this might explain part of the delay in publishing.

 

The author also mentions that the wood engravings in the book were made after original photographs by Mr. James Anderson (1813-1877) and Mr. Robert Turnbull Macpherson (1814-1872), the earliest and most prominent photographers of Rome of English origin. The engravings are not further identified  belonging to one or the other.

This very extensive reference work has a bibliography of some 68 titles on Rome in various languages, 23 on the Campagna, as well as, 47 on archeology and history. An extensive use was made of plans and fold out maps.

In short we might conclude that this volume is a key work on Rome of that period in the English language. The book contains 483 pages, the approximate size 29 cm. H x 24 cm. W., 85 illustrations and 25 maps and plans, with the top edge gilt.

P1050996The second book we reference carries the title Ancient Rome in the Light of Recent Discoveries.

P1060002The author Randolfo Lanciani, L.L.D. (Harvard) was Professor of Archeology at the University of Rome, as well as, the director of excavations for the municipality of Rome and the National Government of Italy.

The book was originally published in Boston, Massachusetts in 1888 and our contemporary copy carries the London Macmillan and Company imprint of the same year. It was printed by the Riverside Press in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has an heraldic ex libris bookplate of Arthur Augustus Tilley (1851-1942) a Barrister, Etonian (Scholar of the year 1871), as well as, a historian, author, lecturer, and teacher at Kings College in Cambridge England, and admitted to the “Inner Temple”, attesting once more to the relative importance of this edition. The book was published later in Italian as L’Antica Roma.

P1060004Lanciani (1845-1929) was married into the affluent high society, first to Mary Rhodes and later into Italian nobility. He became a Senator in 1911 in the Italian Parliament. Incidentally a newer edition of the book was published in 2005 (ISBN-88-5410-361-6) by Newton Compton Publishers.

P1060005P1060006P1060007P1060009P1060010P1060012Another of Lanciani’s achievements was the first contemporary detailed map of the Roman Ruins published as Forum Urbis Romae.

Our original edition has 10 heliotypes and 90 illustrations throughout the text. Unfortunately, no credit has been given to the photographer of the Heliotypes. (328 pages, 24 cm. H x 17.5 cm. W)

Would it not be interesting if we could follow some of the old roads leading to various sites today? Using the book Rome published in 1952 as a true photo book containing 88 black and white photographs of Rome by the famous female French photographer Helene Hoppenot, wife of a wealthy French diplomat, we can do exactly that.

IMG_0028IMG_0034The City of Montpellier in the South of France just finished a beautiful Retrospective Exhibition of her work, unique in scope in an age when woman did not travel for pleasure such great distances to various continents. In fact, her very first photo book had China and the Far East as a theme. She also kept a very long and interesting diary meshing facts about her life with a view of modern diplomacy as seen from the inside. These diaries were recently published by the fascinating French publishing house of Claire Paulhan, relative of Jean Paulhan the late great editor of the NRF Publishing House, an author and literary critic as well.

IMG_0029Hoppenot used in her book, as an introduction, a description of Rome written by the very erudite 19th C. French novelist Stendhal  (1783-1842) which we reproduce below.

IMG_0031 IMG_0032 IMG_0033That was the Rome of nearly 200 years ago! Modern day visitors to and citizens of Rome have a lot to be thankful. Great architects, great scientific minds and a great many discerning eyes loved sharing the vistas and their artistic insights with us.IMG_0030IMGIMG_0001Viva Roma!

Should you be inclined to read more of Stendhal here is an interesting link.

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