New York

“Photographers in 19th century Italy”

Robert Schoelkopf Gallery

Three gondolas with nine Americans in each, their bleached-out eyes retouched with tiny black dots for pupils, the tableau spliced onto a backdrop of the Ducal Palace so that the gondoliers’ heads are ghostlike, is offered by Paolo Salviati, Photographer, and entitled Venezia in gold letters on a black border. A nude is seen six times over, one time with her left index finger curled against a plump cheek like Ingres’ Countess d’Haussonville, another time covering herself daintily like a Venus Surprised. Then there are market scenes, crowds at St. Peter’s, and Monuments, Monuments: the Bronze Horses, the Colosseum, the sturdy Arch of Titus with little clumps of shrubbery thrusting out from the cornice. Sometimes, an interesting and incongruous effect: Francis Frith would like his view of Florence to magnify the Cathedral, I suppose, but, instead, his finicky lens pulls our eyes across

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