Fratelli D'Alessandri (1858–1950)

An Italian photographic studio established by the brothers Antonio d'Alessandri (1818–1893), a priest, and Paolo Francesco d'Alessandri (1824–1889), it began operating at Rome around 1858 until it was dissolved in 1950. It enjoyed immediate financial and social success, having become one of the most important studios in Europe. Their works were presented at the major international exhibitions, and consisted mostly of portraits, but also other subjects such as scenes, most notably, of military camps and battlefields, making them Italy's first photojournalists. The brothers were both born at L'Aquila and moved to Rome. Antonio became the exclusive photographer of Pope Pius IX and to the Vatican court, and received a Papal gold medal in 1858. They seem not to have had any training in photography, and it is not certain how they achieved their rapid success, although Antonio's links to the Vatican might have played a major role. Antonio became interested in photography at the UniversitÓ Romana in 1852, and seems to have frequented the photographic studio of the Luswergh family nearby. Taking advantage of the new wet-collodion process, the brothers were able to achieve simpler and more immediate results in the reproduction of their works to feed the current high demand. In 1858, they opened a studio at Rome, said to be the first in the capital, and a branch opened later at Naples, with distribution facilities present at Paris and Vienna. In 1859, Antonio became an honoured member of the SociÚtÚ Franšaise de Photographie, and had befriended the more renown photographer, Nadar. Paolo himself was a very skilled photographer. His son, Tito D'Alessandri, later became the studio's main director, and its operation continued along with Paolo's other children. Awards were received in Florence in 1861, a gold medal at Rome in 1870, a gold medal at Paris in 1878, a bronze medal at Milan in 1881, and another gold medal at Rome in 1890. Paolo's children were all dead by 1943, but the studio continued operating until 1950.









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