The photographic narrative develops from the shots taken by Alinari and Brogi, editorial photographers as they called themselves, engaged in a monumental work of documentation of Italy’s cultural heritage: the lands of Arezzo emerge through the themes of art, landscape and labor. And it was from the territory of Arezzo that Vittorio Alinari undertook, in 1908, a photographic journey along the course of the Arno: a poetic testimony to his personal artistic research, updated on the avant-garde photographic currents in Europe, parallel to his enlightened activity as an entrepreneur at the head of Fratelli Alinari. During the twentieth century, the amateur photography of Aurelio Monteverde, the artistic research of Vincenzo Balocchi, and the extraordinary value of the documentation work of the Valdarno lignite mines lead us to the discovery of other modes of vision.
Drawing on the rich store of visual memories of the Alinari Archives, a window is opened on a hundred years of history of the Arezzo area, from 1856 to 1954. What emerges is a variegated social landscape made up of valleys bordered by hilly arches and elevated mountains, punctuated by a great wealth of medieval artistic evidence with an economy predominantly based on agriculture that nevertheless saw the start of important industrial initiatives. A land of farmers, washerwomen, shepherds, monks, men and women of ingenious industriousness. When related to today these images inevitably confront us with the ‘transformative’ nature of time, bringing out elements of continuity and relevant landscape and social mutations. And if, however, each land, like a face, has identity characteristics that persist over time, the breadths of varied horizons and the vivid traces of a long history of industrious creativity can be summarized in that ‘subtility of the air’ to which Michelangelo, joking with Vasari, attributed his own ingenuity: ‘Onde Michelangelo ragionando col Vasari una volta per ischerzo disse: “Giorgio, s’ i’ ho nulla di buono nell’ingegno, egli è venuto dal nascere nella sottilità dell’aria del vostro paese d’Arezzo; [. …] Giorgio Vasari, Le vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori ed architettori, Florence, 1568.
Info: Opening time and ticket costs for the Ivan Bruschi House Museum.
Opening hours 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
closed on Mondays