Calligraphic title at the bottom of the photograph on the mount in ink. Unusually large print of this image.
Giovanni Crupi was born in Taormina in 1859, and so it is possible that he may have learned the rudiments of photography as a young boy in the studio of Giuseppe Bruno. But recently unearthed information would suggest that 1885 is a more probable date for Crupi’s entry into the world of professional photography.
He was a friend and colleague of Wilhelm von Gloeden. Pasquale Verdicchio in his book Looters, Photographers, and Thieves: Aspects of Italian Photographic Culture in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries states that Von Gloeden learned the basics of photography from Crupi, in whose studio he became an apprentice. Von Gloeden himself stated in 1898 in a memoir that he learned the rudiments of photographic art from the Giuseppe Bruno. In the field of landscape photography, the two friends and colleagues seem to have influenced one another. |The small number of male nudes produced by Crupi, set in archaeological sites in Syracuse, are attributed to the influence of Gloeden.
In 1899 Crupi left Italy and opened a photographic studio in Egypt near Cairo, in Heliopolis. His studio in Teatro Greco, Taormina, did not close. It was taken over by his brother-in-law, Francesco Galifi (Taormina 1865–1951), who specialized in Sicilian landscapes, not only making his own photographs, but also printing out negatives from the Crupi archive, including works by Von Gloeden. These images, often extremely large in format, were sometimes printed using the outdated salted paper technique which had been popular in the period before 1860. Working with various publishing houses, many of these photographs appeared as illustrations in books and magazines. The Galifi-Crupi studio opened its main branch under the clock tower in Piazza S. Agostino, and Giovanni Crupi rejoined the enterprise on his return from Egypt in 1910, although he no longer took photographs apparently.
Works of Giovanni Crupi are in several public and private collections, including Royal Academy of Arts, Getty Museum, Ackland Art Museum, Benton Museum of Art, Palermo Museo, and Hallwylska Museet, among others.
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Medium Albumen print
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1880s Print Date 1880s
Dimensions 10-3/4 x 15-3/8 in. (273 x 391 mm)
Photo Country Italy
Photographer Country Italy
Contemporary Works / Vintage Works, Ltd.