Apollo Belvedere

Photography Studio A. Luswergh e figlio Italian
Angelo Luswergh Italian
Giacomo Luswergh Italian

Not on view

The Luswerghs were a family of engineers, opticians, and astronomical-instrument makers active in Rome from the time of Galileo. After visiting the photography displays at London’s Great Exhibition in 1851, Giacomo added the new medium to the firm’s pursuits. The business built and repaired cameras, and sold large-format views, portraits, and art reproductions. In 1854 they published the first commercial photography catalogue in Rome, which inventoried the 131 prints they offered for sale. Among them were reproductions of celebrated artworks from the Vatican Museums, including the Apollo Belvedere seen here, a second-century marble copy of a Greek bronze, discovered during the Renaissance. Luminous and silhouetted against an even black, the statue of the sun god is a subject befitting the light-based art of photography.

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