Imagines of the old disappeared center.
Three hundred unpublished photographs taken before and after the 19th century demolitions.
The volume collects the photographs, most of them yet unpublished, found by the author in the Archives of the Photographic Study of the Superintendency for the Florentine Museum Pole. These documents are of great historic and documentary value and testify the demolitions carried out in the center of the Tuscan chief town at the end of the 19th century. A series of town planning actions was carried out for urban decorum and social hygiene: it decreed the demolition of the medieval core of Florence, which had risen on the ruins of the Roman Forum.
To face the outcry caused by the strict judgments expressed by the circles of culture and the press, the town council set up, on the 23rd March 1888, a historic-archaeological commission, which had the duty of making studying, researches and, most of all, photographing «the things of some importance». These pictures are of great interest: in some cases they are the only evidence of the medieval town, changed over the centuries but intact in its town-planning scheme. The photograph was in fact used with documentary purpose for the first time in this occasion.
The 329 black and white plates strike for their elegant brightness and the superb shots and present Florence as totally free from human beings, a desert of life, still in a suspended time: a kind of modern Pompeii.
The book, that is the result of the very accurate work by Maria Sframeli, is a real journalistic reportage for its absolute predominance of images, the simplicity and the efficacy of the written texts. This was the most direct way to document one of the greatest losses for the Italian cultural patrimony in the Modern Age: the demolition of the historical center of Florence.
A very detailed map of the center of Florence before its demolition is enclosed to the book.PDF format