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Body Cast from Pompeii

A work made of albumen print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of albumen print.

Date:

1880

Artist:

Giorgio Sommer
Italian, 1834–1914

About this artwork

Giorgio Sommer was one of the most successful and well-known photographers of southern Italy in the nineteenth century, and his images served archaeologists and tourists alike. He was commissioned by Giuseppe Fiorelli, the first archaeologist to bring scientific method to the excavations at Pompeii. Under Fiorelli, archaeological evidence was to be documented at the site of its discovery, a dramatic shift from the antiquarian emphasis on aesthetics toward an anthropological appreciation of social and material context. Thus cavities created by decomposed organic matter were filled with plaster to give a more complete sense of a person’s form, and figures of Pompeians (including, in at least one remarkable case, a dog) were revealed at the moment of their deaths.

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Photography and Media

Artist

Giorgio Sommer

Title

Body Cast from Pompeii

Origin

Italy

Date

Made 1880

Medium

Albumen print

Dimensions

27 × 37.5 cm (image/paper); 39.9 × 50.3 cm (mount)

Credit Line

Gift of W. Bruce and Delaney H. Lundberg

Reference Number

2011.700

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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