Majestic shadow of the past: documentation and narrative photography of Hadrian’s Villa and Tivoli (1850–1930)
I completed my PhD in the History of Art in Freiburg im Breisgau, with a Dissertation on Baroque Sculpture in Cardinal’s Tombs (1650-1750). During that time, I was a DAAD Fellow, a Doctoral Fellow at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg, and a Doctoral Fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome. In the last position, I served as research and executive assistant to the director between 2001 and 2014, where I worked on the conception and realization of conferences and subsequent publications. In 2010 I was awarded the Hanno und Ilse Hahn Prize for my research devoted to the architectural drawings by Filippo Juvarra and the elaboration of the antique in his ‘capricci’. My scientific collaborations include projects such as “Architettura e Potere. Lo Stato Sabaudo e la costruzione dell’immagine in una corte europea” (Rome/Turin 2009-2014 with E. Kieven); “Heinrich von Brühl (1700–1763): ein Mäzen in Europa des 18. Jahrhunderts” (Dresden/Rome 2014-2017 with U.C. Koch); “Phönix aus der Asche. Bildwerdung der Antike: Druckgrafiken bis 1869“ (Munich 2019 with U. Pfisterer). My last DFG-Research Project at the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich “Hadrian’s Villa as a Microcosm. A Space of Artistic Interaction in 18th- and 19th-Century Europe” focused on the significance of the imperial site as a “globalizing area”, “dynamic contact zone”, and “space of artistic interaction”. As a fellow at the Italian Academy in 2020, I will investigate the impact of photography on the reception of the Roman Campagna and the survival of its ancient historical sites, with a particular attention on Tivoli and Hadrian’s Villa as a privileged and ideal point of departure. This project traces the pivotal paradigmatic relationship of photography to both the precise records of antiquities – from excavations, through to preservation and restoration (documentation) – and in chronicling the undertakings of passionate and erudite travelers (narrative).