Florence, Loggia dei Lanzi, c 1870.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photoscopic view of the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, Italy, published by Frith and Co in about 1870. Built in the fourteenth century as an open-fronted building used for public meetings and elections, the Loggia dei Lanzi is famous for its fine display of sculptures. The Uffizi Gallery stands at the rear of the Loggia. Photoscopic views were large format photographs on transparent paper designed to be looked at using a special viewer, similar to Carlo Ponti's Megalethoscope. Francis Frith (1822-1898) was a pioneer of travel photography. He was also one of photography's greatest entrepreneurs, founding a company that was to become the largest publisher of photographs in the world. Frith saw himself as a romantic adventurer in the mould of Byron. Between 1856 and 1860 he travelled and photographed extensively in Egypt and the Holy Land. His work was published in a variety of formats and editions and established his reputation as one of the finest travel photographers. However, t