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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Robert Rive

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Names:
Other: Julius Rive (brother) 
Other: Rive 
Other: Rive Stabilimento Fotografico 
Other: Roberto Rive 
Dates:  1817 - 1868
Born:  Prussia, Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland)
Died:  Italy, Torre del Greco
Active:  Italy
 
  
The Rive’s photographic firm, established in Naples, is one of the significant of nineteenth century Italy.
 
The brothers Robert Rive (Breslau, 1817 - Torre del Greco, 1868) and Julius Rive (Breslau 1828 - Napoli, 1888) were born in Breslau from a French Huguenot family. Early in the 1850’s they went to Naples and founded an important photographic firm that was active until the 1890s. They had their studio in Palazzo Serracapriola (Riviera di Chiaia 215), then in Vico Carminello 38 until 1865, when it moved to Palazzo Lieti, via Toledo 317, and after 1886 in Salita San Filippo, Riviera di Chiaia, 15 and 21. The firm participated at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1867.
 
After the Robert’s death, Julius continued to work and to increase the production; the firm was always credited to the eldest Robert Rive.
 
The Rive firm was one of the first to cover the whole of Italy with his photographic campaigns, from the Lombard Lakes and Venice down to Sicily. The images created by the Rive’s studio are constantly marked by a landscapists vision, which imbues even the views of towns and architecture.
 
The firm produced panorams, urban views and the roads and monuments of the cities, reproductions of artworks. It also recorded earthquake damage and volcanic eruptions, and offered high quality studies for artists.
 
It adopted every format including large, medium, stereoscopic, cabinet and carte de visite.
 
Especially rich and original are the images (panoramas, places, roads, monuments, moments of urban life) of Naples and of the Neapolitan marine and hilly area (Caserta, Pozzuoli, Baia, Ischia, Pompei, Ercolano, Castellammare, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi, Atrani, Ravello, Vietri, Raito, Salerno, Cava de’ Tirreni, Paestum), as well as of the Sicilian towns and landscapes (Agrigento, Catania, Messina, Palermo and Monreale, Segesta, Siracusa,Taormina,), in many cases these regions were just discovered or still to be discovered by the travelers of the Grand Tour. But the Rive firm produced also unusual images of the Lakes, of Genoa, Turin, Milan, Pavia, Como, Peschiera, Rovereto, Venice, Verone, Bologna, Pisa, Florence, Orvieto, Rome, Frascati, Tivoli, Gaeta, San Germano (Cassino) and Benevento. In 1878 it realized a photographic campaign of views in Paris.
 
Giovanni Fanelli
[January 2017]
Giovanni Fanelli, with the collaboration of Barbara Mazza, Robert Rive (Firenze: Mauro Pagliai Editore, 2010) [ISBN: 978-88-564-0123-3]. This book includes 110 high quality plates some of which include enlargements to highlight specific details. It is also interesting to see how the same image was produced in a variety of formats.
 
Giovanni Fanelli has also reconstructed the catalogue of the Rive’s firm (see www.historyphotography.org).

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