Picturing Italy, Revealing England : The Florence, Rome, Naples Album
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The objective of this thesis is to examine the multivalent nature of Florence, Rome, Naples, an English photo album from the late-nineteenth century. On a basic level, the object functions as a souvenir of its creator's tour of Italy. The forty-nine commercial albumen prints of Florence, Rome, and Naples prove that the maker visited Italy and suggest that he or she saw the pictured subjects. Through the selection and arrangement of photographs, the album also conveys particular ideas about the cities as conceived by establish the album as a work of art. The designs surround, accentuate, and, at times, supplement the photographs and the messages they communicate. Finally, Florence, Rome, Naples is a revealing artifact from the late-1800s. The page designs reveal the influence of Victorian interests such as medievalism, the Arts and Crafts Movement, and conceptions of photography. For modern viewers, Florence, Rome, Naples is a unique and rich manifestation of the ideals of late-nineteenth-century English society and visual culture.