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The subtlety of the air

Arezzo and its territory in the Alinari Archives


The exhibition, born thanks to the collaboration with the Alinari Foundation for Photography and curated by Rita Scartoni along with Muriel Prandato, guides the viewer through the diverse landscapes of the Arezzo territory, following the traces of a long history of industrious creativity. Representing the lands of Arezzo, images from the eminent photographic publishers Alinari and Brogi, Vittorio Alinari, Aurelio Monteverde, and Vincenzo Balocchi have been selected.

The photographic narrative unfolds from the works of Alinari and Brogi, photographic publishers as they defined themselves, engaged in a monumental endeavor of documenting the Italian cultural heritage. The lands of Arezzo emerge through themes of art, landscape, and labor. Starting from the Arezzo territory, Vittorio Alinari embarks on a photographic journey along the course of the Arno in 1908: a poetic testimony of his personal artistic pursuit, influenced by avant-garde photographic trends in Europe, paralleling his enlightened entrepreneurial activity as the head of Fratelli Alinari. Throughout the 20th century, the amateur photography of Aurelio Monteverde, the artistic exploration of Vincenzo Balocchi, and the remarkable documentary work on the lignite mines of Valdarno lead us to discover other modes of vision.

Drawing from the rich reservoir of visual memories from the Alinari Archives, a window opens to a hundred years of history of the Arezzo territory, spanning from 1856 to 1954. A diverse social landscape emerges, marked by valleys bordered by hilly arches and towering mountains, punctuated by a wealth of medieval artistic testimonies, with an economy primarily rooted in agriculture but witnessing the initiation of significant industrial initiatives. A land of peasants, washerwomen, shepherds, monks, men and women of ingenious industriousness. When compared to the present day, these images inevitably confront us with the ‘transformative’ nature of time, highlighting elements of continuity and significant landscape and social changes. However, if every land, like a face, possesses identifying characteristics that endure through time, the expanses of diverse horizons and vivid traces of a long history of industrious creativity can be synthesized in that ‘subtlety of the air’ to which Michelangelo, jesting with Vasari, attributed his own genius: Giorgio, if I have anything good in my genius, it came from being born in the subtlety of the air of your land of Arezzo; […] Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, Florence, 1568.

The exhibition, open until October 31, 2023, is divided into four sections, displaying 56 photographs along with the digital version of the album, also sourced from the Alinari Archives, documenting the lignite mines of Valdarno.



Regular / € 5,00
Reduced / € 3,00
Free admission


• The ticket, which includes admission to the Ivan Bruschi House Museum, can also be purchased online by clicking the following link [link].

• By presenting the ticket for the Basilica of San Francesco, the cost of the ticket is € 1,00.
• The reduced ticket applies to under 18s, over 65s, students, soldiers, FAI members, COOP members, Touring Club members, ACI members, ICOM members, Intesa Sanpaolo employees, Artsupp Card holders, CTG Centro Turistico Giovanile members and groups of more than 15 people.
• Free admission for children up to 6 years of age, teachers (class leaders), tourist guides, visitors with disabilities and their companions, journalists (subject to accreditation).

+39 0575 354126




From December 2, 2022, to October 31, 2023


Casa Museo Ivan Bruschi
Corso Italia, 14