Fondazione Ansaldo

The Antonio Campostano (Genoa 1877-1965) photographic laboratory was donated in 1988 by the Istituto di Cultura e Formazione Religiosa, Educativa e Morale del Popolo di Genova (Institute of culture and religious, moral and instructive education of the people of Genoa). It is composed of period field and lab photographic equipment, equipment, lenses and other accessories and sundries. The lab includes 595 original photographic negatives and prints made by Campostano between 1901 and 1960. The subjects of these photos include the Aosta Valley, Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, the Matterhorn, the Dolomites, the Italian Riviera, Genoa and its churches.

Antonio Campostano began his career in photography at the age of 23; the collection of his photos includes one, of the “Porticciolo di Nervi”, taken in 1901, marked as “first photograph”; it was taken with a 9x12 plate camera with a Zeiss Tessar lens.

His photos generated such interest that in 1904, on the proposal of Countess Dillon under the patronage of the Duchess of Uzés Mortemart, the Paris Photo Club named him as one of its members resident abroad. Master of the black-and-white photo, in 1931 Campostano became honorary president of the Ligurian Photographic Association, and in 1932 his first personal exhibition was inaugurated. Nature lover and tireless traveller, he spent 1935 to 1937 in Brazil, home of his wife, Countess Lily Matarazzo.

Back in Genoa in 1938 he put on a second personal exhibition; in 1942 he purchased a 1,300 mm Zeiss Apoplanar lens, which he used to photograph all the phases of the moon as well as Venus and Uranus. Between 1954 and 1955 he documented Genoa Cathedral photographically; as was typical of Antonio Campostano's style, he studied the light, angles and points the photos were to be taken down to the smallest details. He prepared the necessary cameras, choosing an 18x24. He completed his equipment with two Cooke APO lenses of 530 mm and 635 mm focal length. The resulting photographs, both wide-angle and close-ups, of the interior and exterior, are considered perfect both in terms of their technique and framing.

Antonio Campostano died in Genoa in 1965.


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