After the first digital exhibition dedicated to Raphael and the historical photography of his masterpieces, the Vatican Museums are back with a new online photographic exhibition that, from 30 May, is just a click away, free, on the official portal in the “Catalogue” section.
“L’Apulia Monumentale di Romualdo Moscioni. L’uso della fotografia come documento nell’Italia postunitaria (Romualdo Moscioni’s Monumental Apulia. The use of photography as document in post-unification Italy) is the title of the project, curated by the head of the Photo Library, Paola Di Giammaria – dedicated to Monumental Apulia, the photographic campaign conducted in 1892 by the great documentary photographer and expert landscape artist Romualdo Moscioni (1849-1925) for the then-Ministry of Public Education of the newly-united Italy. The subject of his evocative photographs were Romanesque monuments in Apulia, Basilicata and Campania. The precious negatives of this campaign, as well as the entire Romualdo Moscioni Fund (over 15,000 glass plates), are preserved in the Vatican Museums Photo Library which, in the images selected for the exhibition's photogallery, makes as many as fifty historical shots accessible to the general public for the first time.
From 3 May to 3 July 2023, the digital files of the negatives, as well as the photographic prints produced in the 1930s, will be on loan to the Department of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of the metropolitan city of Bari, which has organized the photographic exhibition “Apulia Monumentale - Il viaggio di Romualdo Moscioni” (Monumental Apulia – the journey of Romualdo Moscioni) in order to encourage, through the use of innovative digital technologies, an integrated knowledge of Moscioni’s work and photographic style, enriching the display of photographic prints preserved in the Bari institution’s photographic library. This was the occasion that gave rise to the current Vatican digital exhibition, in order to disseminate in a scientific and accessible way the activity of one of the greatest photographers specializing in views and documentation of landscapes and works of art, at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, and who worked extensively in the Vatican Museums, leaving behind precious documents of both classical statuary and the great wall masterpieces by Raphael and Michelangelo.
The Moscioni Fund, which arrived in the 1930s, is the jewel in the crown of the Vatican Museums’ historical Photo Library, and, like the entire glass plate collection, it is currently in the process of being digitalized and catalogued.