The collection is made up of the photographs from one of the campaigns of documentation of the historic centers of cities in Emilia-Romagna that Paolo Monti (Novara, 1908 – Milan, 1982), great master of 20th-century Italian photography, was commissioned to carry out between the end of the sixties and the end of the seventies by the region’s Institute of the Cultural Heritage. In close collaboration with the art historian Andrea Emiliani and the city planner Pierluigi Cervellati, Monti developed a clear and rapid method, based on use of the small-format camera, of tackling the stratified and complex reality of historic centers, devoting himself to the subject with great professional skill and civil passion.

With this extended engagement with the territory in the ambit of a public commission, Monti played a historically pioneering role, as far as the Italian context is concerned, tackling the theme of the relationship between photography, landscape and public body that was to become highly topical in the eighties and nineties and slowly contribute to the recognition of photography as part of the cultural heritage by the Italian state, something which took place in 1999.

As was typical of his methods and his taste, in this work devoted to Santarcangelo di Romagna Monti worked in more than one direction and from a variety of perspectives with the aim of embracing the entire place: general views of the location, often from above, systematic explorations of the main streets with pictures taken from different points of view and close-ups of the physical and material identity of surfaces, which constitute one of the salient aspects of his work.

Property of the Milan Metropolitan Area, entrusted to the Museum of Contemporary Photography

Contents 54 prints

Dating od works 1973

Authors Paolo Monti

Link  the Paolo Monti Fund / Santarcangelo in the collections search engine

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