A beautiful exhibition, Pompeii and Europe, dedicated to the fortune of Pompeii from the discovery until 1943, has been set up in two locations: in the Archaeological Museum of Naples and in the amphitheater in the archaeological site Pompei, in a pyramid set up for the purpose. We have already spoken about the casts, which make up a part of the show in Pompeii, now we want to present two exhibitions.
In the same pyramid that presents the casts, there is an exhibition on photography, which presents a series of photos, some of them unpublished, taken for different reasons in the excavations.
There is for example a picture of Garibaldi with his staff, because the General Assembly in its conquest of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies also wanted to visit the ruins of Pompeii and here we can see him immortalized in 1860, exactly on September 25, in what It is a picture of the early history of this technique.
The pic was taken inside the Macellum – which was then called Pantheon – and is the beginning of the professional photo by excavations. The photographer was Sommer, who was allowed by the archeologist Fiorelli, to take a series of photos that were used not only to capture the illustrious visitors, but also to document the excavations.
Fiorelli was in fact the one who began a series of scientific excavations, changing what until then had been a kind of treasure hunt the masterpiece. Anyway, a real scientific picture was premature at that time, because in reality the choice was to play back images that were to become souvenirs and that would mark the luck of Pompeii in everyday objects.
It was precisely the various photographers 800 to spread the stereotyped image of Pompeii (with Mount Vesuvius which is often added by hand with the smoke plume) to score the massive success of the excavations and to make possible the spread of the myth of Pompeii in ‘collective imagination.
In 1910 the director of excavations Antonio Sogliano gave birth to a real photo lab inside the excavations with the purpose of documentation, and because of that, today we have traces of a series of objects and places that for many reasons, there are no or more there are in the same state as those affected by Allied bombing in 1943 that did not spare even the excavations.
In the part of the exhibition which is based at the National Museum of Naples, as well as a temporary exhibition, you can admire the most precious finds discovered in the excavations.
The exhibition “Pompeii and Europe 1748-1943” to illustrate the influence that the discovery of the buried city was on the costume, the imaginary, common objects, the decor throughout the continent. Because soon the excitement of the discovery of what had caused the eruption of Vesuvius came anywhere.
“No catastrophe has never been a source of much pleasure for the rest of humanity, like the one that buried Herculaneum and Pompeii”. W. Goethe
The exhibition features some two hundred works in the fortune of Pompeii involving architecture, painting, drawing, decorative arts, literature and photography.
Yet early discoveries were not considered interesting, because the post Nero – remember that the eruption of Pompeii took place during the reign of Tito – was considered of decline for the Roman culture. The first exhibits that were shown were large wall paintings, which for the first time showed an art that was then unknown, being disappeared all examples of famous Greek and Roman painting on the wall. It is precisely the great paintings now on display in the Museum of Naples. But the real news, that ignited the imagination of his contemporaries, was the discovery of the furniture, architecture everyday objects of common use, which gave for the first time the idea of life as old as everyday. That’s the fashion to reproduce the types of Pompeii in minor objects: furniture, furnishings, decorations, forming what is still known as the Pompeian style. As well as the views of the site flourished at the hands of great masters such as Piranesi and Hackert, who spread everywhere, before photography, the image of Pompeii.
An exhibition not to be missed, therefore, open at both sites until November 2.