Italian Neorealist Photography offers an analysis of the socio-cultural conditions of the rise of postwar Italian photography, considers its practices, and outlines its destiny.
The author provides an incisive examination of Neorealist photography, delineates its periodization, traces its instances and its progressive popularization and subsequent co-optation that occurred with the advent of the industrialization of photographic magazines. This volume examines the ethno(photo)graphic missions of Ernesto De Martino in the deep South of Italy, the key role played by the Neorealist writer and painter Carlo Levi as “ambassador of international photography,” and the journeys of David Seymour, Henri Cartier Bresson, and Paul Strand in Neorealist Italy.
The text includes an account of the formation and proliferation of Italian photographic associations and their role in the institutionalizing and promotion of Italian photography, their link to British and other European photographic societies, and the subsequent decline of Neorealism. It also considers the inception of non-objective photography that thrived soon after the war, in concurrence with the circulation of Neorealism, thus debunking the myth identifying all Italian postwar photography with the Neorealist image.
The first exhaustive analysis of Neorealist photography published in English language this book is completed with a profusion of footnotes and bibliographic information as well as with a wealth of little-known illustrations and as such is particularly useful for scholars and students in the history and theory of photography, and Italian art history.