Francesco Bonaldi & Tarreghetta The Porta Magna Entrance of the Arsenale di Venezia, Italy
Medium Albumenized salt print from paper negative
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1855 Print Date 1855
Dimensions 7-9/16 x 9-1/2 in. (192 x 241 mm)
Photo Country Italy
Photographer Country Italy
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
With photographers' names and date reversed out of negative. The Arsenale Clock is mounted in the bell tower of the Porta Magna entrance of the Arsenale di Venezia: an old complex of state-owned shipyards and armories, once the largest shipyard in the world and having played a major role in the city's naval warfare since the early 12th century.
Little can be found in any literature about this particular tower--or its embedded clock--or its sister companion on the other side of the main canal leading to the arsenale's entrance, but both likely began as simple watchtowers, part of the 3.2 km rampart built in 1320 to surround the "Arsenale Nuovo" expansion. The clock was probably added during the construction of the Porta Magna--the arsenal's main gate--which itself got added to the facility in 1460.
Francesco Bonaldi & Tarreghetta were an early photography duo that took photographs of Venice. Not much is known of them. Becchetti and Zannier do list them. Their prints exhibited the transition between salt and dilute albumen prints. Bonaldi was apparently active from 1852-1868, but we've only found work from 1855. Their studio was located at S. Marco Corte dei Balloni, N. 207, Venezia (Venice).
In Venice, Bonaldi worked in partnership with Tarreghetta and then with Giuseppe Bettini (Calle del Cavalletto 1099), with whom he made a series of stereoscopic views. Bonaldi was in Udine in 1859-60, then returned to Venice; March 22, 1868 he documented the tralazione ash Daniele Manin with a series of images made in St. Mark's Square. The 1902 Guida Commerciale di Venezia under "Photographs on enamel" reports the presence of Francesco Bonaldi at S. Luca, rio Terrà S. Paternian 4245 A.
We have been able to locate only two other holdings of the partner's work: seven prints in the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum and one in Italy. The work is apparently quite rare and usually found in poor faded condition, if the photographs in the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum are any indication. The photograph offered here is quite strong and in fine condition.
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