'Rome, Western side of the church of San Ma
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Rome, Western side of the church of San Maria Maggiore, with the small obelisque', 1841. Daguerreotype by Achille Morelli. One of a series of topographical and architectural views which are among the earliest known photographs of Italy. Alexander J Ellis (1814-1890) wanted to use the works of Achille Morelli and Lorenzo Suscipi to augment his proposed publication called 'Italy Daguerreotyped'. The daguerreotype proces was one of two pioneering photographic proceses announced in 1839. Each image is a direct positive produced on sensitised metal plates in a long and complex procedure.