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Photographing Italy

60 Incredible Years presented in over 350 Amazing Images by 120 of the World's Greatest Photographers

Giovanna Calvenzi

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A rich photographic journey through sixty years of post-war Italian history


This stunning anthology is a rich photographic journey through the last sixty years of Italian history, as seen by some of the most important Italian and international photographers throughout the era.

The first section of the book records in photographs how Italy has evolved since 1943, accompanied by the thoughts of those who witnessed the evolution. Sixty years separate the first image - a photograph by Robert Capa of the arrival of the American army in Sicily in 1943 - from the last, in which Gabriele Basilico shows the Calabrian coast where the bridge over the Strait of Messina could soon be built. These images run through recent history and encompass all possible genres: from the work of photo-journalists to amateurs, from the first pioneers to contemporary practitioners from the worlds of fashion, architecture, nature photography and artistic experimentation.

Part two confronts issues peculiar to Italy. Six essays reflect upon moments and movements that have defined the evolution of Italian visual culture, both from the point of view of creativity and the actual way in which the images were used. The third section engages directly with ways of seeing: a number of auteur portfolios, each composed of two photo-essays shot by an Italian and a non-Italian photographer on the same theme.

This marvellously rich photographic journey through the last sixty years of Italian history will be essential reading for anyone who loves photography or Italy, the Bel Paese.

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'Intelligent and probing photographs ... a book for lovers of Italy whose true love includes sadness about the nation’s destiny'
Independent on Sunday

'A stereoscopic portrait of the country … ravishing … an ideal Christmas gift for Italophiles'
Irish Times

'From villages to the Vatican, asylums to Cinecitta, the Italian spirit is all here'
Sunday Times

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Further Details


Format: Hardback

Size: 25.0 x 25.0 cm

Extent: 352 pp

Publication date: 20 October 2003

ISBN: 9780500542798

About the Author

Giovanna Calvenzi is one of the most prominent figures in European photography today. Currently the Director of Photography for Sportsweek, she has also been the photo-editor at several magazines, notably Amica and Vanity Fair. She has also curated many exhibitions and has sat on several juries, including the World Press Photo award.