Primoli, Giuseppe


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(1851–1927), Italian amateur photographer. A Roman descendant of Napoleon I, Primoli spent much of his time in Paris, leading the fashionable life of an aristocrat. He aspired to be an homme de lettres, and maintained long friendships with artistic personalities such as Théophile Gautier, Gabriele d'Annunzio, Edgar Degas, Marcel Proust, and Sarah Bernhardt. By the late 1880s, Primoli's mania for photography had eclipsed other pastimes. His social position gained him access to the most exclusive events and personalities of his day. This, combined with an eye for the odd angle, significant instant, and incongruous detail, made him one of the most vivid chroniclers of his era. At his death he left more than 15,000 images, while another 17,000 were purportedly destroyed. What remains of the collection is now housed in the Primoli Foundation, Rome.


From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.

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