Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–5 public

Plaster Cast of Body, Pompeii

A work made of albumen print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of albumen print.




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.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Giorgio Sommer


Plaster Cast of Body, Pompeii


Italy (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1880


Albumen print


Image/paper: 27 × 37.5 cm (10 11/16 × 14 13/16 in.); Mount: 39.9 × 50.3 cm (15 3/4 × 19 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of W. Bruce and Delaney H. Lundberg

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

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.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions