Photography in Italy has helped to build mythologies which have been determining for the destruction of the landscape and for the creation of a ‘distance’ between citizens and the problems of caring for spaces and places. Since the middle of the 19th century, photography has concentrated on individual monuments, employing a precise rhetoric in the composition, which has privileged architecture with strong mnemonic impacts, so they become the only features which characterise towns and cities. Then Benedetto Croce’s distinction between poetry and prose in aesthetics influenced the meaning and function of architectural photography, creating a fixed idea in the minds of many that monuments were separate from their contexts, considered almost as excrescences, susceptible to alienation. At the same time the search for the ‘sublime’ in nature has had its effect on landscape photography, which until the second half of the twentieth century was closer to eighteenth and nineteenth century veduta paintings than to any interpretation of reality.
Keywords: Landscape; monument; context