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Print and Photograph Fund

Print and Photograph Fund


The collection consists of a large number of engravings, photographs and postcards with subjects related to the bibliographic collections of the Library, such as Rome, Lazio, Tuscia, Dante and Proverbs. Particular attention is paid to archaeological, urban, devotional and folklore themes. Many engravings reproduce reliefs of monuments and palaces such as those of Giovanni Battista Falda, Pietro Ferrerio, Alessandro Specchi and Angelo Uggeri.

Among others, the works of Paul Marie Letarouilly, Marco Sadeler, Denise Auguste Marie Raffet (Souvenirs d'Italie) and above all the engravings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi in a reprint of the Royal Chalcography Chamber are preserved.

The collection also includes many plants of the city of Rome including the prestigious prints by Danesi from ancient branches dating back to the 1930s.

An interesting collection is also that of the engravings of the Divine Comedy, including the precious work of panels engraved by Bartolomeo Pinelli (Bartolomeo Pinelli from Rome, his inventions on the same poem by Dante Alighieri engraved by his own hand) with scenes from the great Poem imagined by the master. Roman.

The collection, originating from the private collection of Marco Besso, has expanded over time with the acquisition of material received in the library through donations or purchases.

The photographs are a precious testimony of life in Rome from a historical, artistic, urban and social point of view, even of a disappeared Rome, documenting the city and its transformations between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. The fund is made up of works ranging from the first half of the century. XIX to specimens and collections from more recent years, numerous photos by Romualdo Moscioni, Gioacchino Altobelli, Pompeo Molins, the D'Alessandri brothers, Carlo Baldassarre Simelli, Cesare Vasari, Neue Photographische Gesellschaft and Michele Schemboche.

The photographic collection also collects photos of the life and family of Marco Besso, of his building and his apartment, which became the headquarters of the Foundation.

Of particular interest is the collection of photos and postcards of Salvatore Besso (1884-1912), son of Marco, who in the early years of the twentieth century documented his travels as a reporter for the "Rivista di Roma" and "La Tribuna" with precious photos. Many of these photographs concern the Middle East, Japan, Siam and China where Salvatore Besso was in 1912 just at the time of the fall of the Chinese Empire and shortly before his untimely death.

The Prints and Photographs Fund can be consulted online

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