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Secondo Pia's collection
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The National Cinema Museum holds more than 13,000 photographs taken by Secondo Pia, (1855–1941), a lawyer from Asti who is known above all for having photographed the Turin Shroud in 1898. Donated by his heirs in 1987, it is an archive featuring many different kinds of materials (negatives, positives, slides and autochromes); an archive which demonstrates the importance of Pia’s work. In fact, this lawyer conducted a thorough photographic campaign to record the artistic assets of Piedmont “portraying the ancient monuments still in existence in Piedmont in order to complete a special collection and for the simple pleasure of doing so”, as he himself explained. Driven by his passion for the history of art, he photographed the region’s most important monuments, capturing every tiny detail with obsessive precision. His ambitious project, a benchmark for art historians, is today a true visual atlas of Piedmont. Thanks to the cataloguing and digital imaging work funded by Regione Piemonte, the regional government of Piedmont, we are publishing a first selection of the materials preserved here, which will be joined by other publications in the next few months.

The 2,450 photographs published can be viewed according to the works of art and places portrayed, according to the date they were photographed and the type of materials (autochromes and positives).


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