Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence

ca. 1870

A photoscopic view of the Loggia dei Lanzi, Piazza della Signoria, in Florence, Italy, published by Frith and Co in about 1870.

Photoscopic views were large format photographs on transparent paper designed to be looked at using a special viewer, similar to Carlo Ponti's Megalethoscope.

Francis Frith (1822-1898) was a pioneer of travel photography. He was also one of photography's greatest entrepreneurs, founding a company that was to become the largest publisher of photographs in the world. Frith saw himself as a romantic adventurer in the mould of Byron. Between 1856 and 1860 he travelled and photographed extensively in Egypt and the Holy Land. His work was published in a variety of formats and editions and established his reputation as one of the finest travel photographers. However, the venture that brought him great wealth and made him a household name was his comprehensive collection of photographs of British landscapes, towns and cities. His company, Frith and Co, founded in Reigate in 1859, sold images of every corner of Britain.


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cardboard, ink, paint and paper (fibre product)
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Kodak Collection, National Science and Media Museum, Bradford