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July 31, 2017

14 Stunning Black and White Photographs Capture Everyday Life of Postwar Italy

After the end of World War II and the downfall of dictator Benito Mussolini, a new movement was born in Italy: Neorealism, which realistically portrayed the desperate conditions of the poor and the working class after the war.

While Neorealism was a film movement, the same gritty aesthetic and subject matter was captured in photographs from the same time period. Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini. These were the pillars of Italian Neorealism; the auteurs who captured the psyche and desolate conditions of the Italian lower-class from 1944 to 1952, lost in a desperation that poverty begets. Their contemporaries, photographers like Ugo Zovetti, Ferruccio Crovatto, and Bruno Rosso, used their medium in similar fashion.

The gritty aesthetic and subject matter draws direct parallels to films like "Open City" and "The Bicycle Thief", giving a real, reactionary sense against fascism and the subsequent socio-political strifes. They unapologetically place the situation in front of you, unmediated and unadorned. The compositions are stunning, expressing the postwar Nihilism with large, unoccupied spaces.

(Bruno Rosso)

(Nino Migliori)

(Ferruccio Crovatto)

(Gianni Berengo Gardin)

(Nino Migliori)

(Zanardi Prospero)

(Stanislao Farri)

(Mario Cattaneo)

(Mario Finocchiaro)

(Mario Finocchiaro)

(Ugo Zovetti)

(Franco Antonaci)

(Gianni Ranati)

(Pepi Merisio)

(via My Modern Met)


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