In this essay the Italian Risorgimento is examined from a similar perspective to the one adopted by Antoine Lilti in his book on the relationship between celebrity culture and the creation of the contemporary public sphere in relation to the Italian Risorgimento. It explores the role of the new 19th-century media - of visual and material culture - in the formation of feelings of identification with major and minor public personalities. This was achieved through the reproduction and marketing of their images, and various forms of intermedial biographies, resulting in a conscious spectacularisation (and ensuing consumption) of their private lives. Particular attention is given to the analysis of print and visual sources during the process of Italian Unification.
Keywords: Celebrity, Italian Risorgimento, 19th Century, Political Icons, Mediatisation, Visual culture, Material culture, Illustration, Photography, Biography.