19.07.2018 P. Weekly Transmission 27-2018 presents: Giacomo Caneva, the Roman School of Photography and the early history of photography in China

Giacomo Caneva was born at Padua on the 4th of July 1813 of Giuseppe Caneva and Anna Pavan. There were four other children, Antonio, Giovanni, Camillo and Teresa, who died as a child. The father was well-to-do, and was the owner of the “Albergo al Principe Carlo” in Prato della Valle. Caneva left Padua on the 12th of November 1834 to register at the Regia Accademia di Belle Arti at Venice (Royal Academy of Fine Arts) where, in particular, he followed the School of the Perspective of Tranquillo Orsi. Here he qualified as a “perspective painter” and widened his knowledge of the camera obscura, which he used in his paintings.
In 1840, Caneva moved to Rome with Giuseppe Jappelli (1783-1851), called by Prince Alessandro Torlonia for the arrangement of greenery in the southern area of Villa Torlonia in Rome…

… His innate inclination for novelty awakened an interest in photography immediately after its invention. He began his photographic career as a daguerreotypist, according to notes left by his friend Tommaso Cuccioni, who later became a photographer himself. However, as things stand at present, his daguerreotypes cannot be individualized. He is recorded in the famous list of artists’ addresses which was begun at the Caffé Greco in 1845: “G. Caneva. Painter and Photographer, Via Sistina 100,” and then, “Via del Corso 446. near S. Carlo.” …

… Many calotypes of Giacomo Caneva were printed after his death by his friend Ludovico Tuminello who returned to Rome in 1869 after a long exile. Tuminello wrote captions on Caneva’s paper negatives and sold albumen prints with his own captions and name and this, before it was understood, created considerable confusion in the recent years…

… In 2012, some dozens of original photos of Caneva, taken during his 1859 trip to China, have appeared on the market of antiques photos, which were believed to be completely lost…

PWT 27-2018 GIACOMO CANEVA