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COLLECTION Identifier: BER-24

Emilio Marcucci photograph collection


Includes drawings, plans, photographs, and correspondence recording Emilio Marcucci's architectural projects and interests. The collection offers an important documentation of the revival of Gothic and Renaissance styles in 19th-century architecture in Italy.


  • 1850 - 1890


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in Italian.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for materials resides with the creators of the items in question, unless otherwise designated.


43.6 linear feet (15 boxes, 8 oversize boxes, 1 drawer for large formats.)

The collection comprises materials related to medieval and early modern monuments around Italy and their restoration in the 19th century. The bulk of the collection includes vintage photographs, drawings and architectural plans of churches and palaces in Tuscany. There are also numerous files about other places in Italy, such as Milan, Bologna, Genoa, Rome, the Apulia region, and others.

Numerous photos and drawings illustrate Marcucci's work for the facades for San Petronio in Bologna and for Florence and Milan Cathedrals. Other projects include the reconstruction of the Aragazzi monument in Montepulciano, the Vittoriano in Rome, the Borgo Medievale in Turin, and additions to the tomb of Dante in Ravenna and the Orsanmichele church in Florence. The collection provides interesting examples of how photos were used in architectural design and conservation in the 19th century. At the same time it offers important documentation on both history of photography and the revival of Gothic and Renaissance styles in architecture.

The materials highlight Emilio Marcucci’s activity as an amateur architect and the special use of photographs he made while working in his architectural projects. For one example of his methods, he commonly cut up photos representing monuments or sculptures and assembled the various pieces in different ways while working on his projects.

Lastly, the collection includes materials sent to Marcucci by various artists, architects, and art critics, as well as several issues of the Riccordi di Architettura journal.

Biographical / Historical

Emilio Marcucci was an Italian botanist and architect born in Bibbiena on January 25, 1837. He studied natural sciences in Pisa, where he became a good friend of the botanist Odoardo Beccari (1843-1920). The two of them moved to Florence in 1864. Beccari later honored his friend by naming a new plant species that he discovered in Borneo "marcuccia". Marcucci became an amateur architect and participated in the competition for the new facade of Florence Cathedral, even while he continued to cultivate his interest in botanical studies. In 1869 he was be among the founders of the journal Nuovo Botanico Italiano, and in 1872 he visited Sardinia to explore the island's flora.

During his lifetime Emilio Marcucci partecipated in several architectural competitions around Italy. His projects include a triumphal arch to celebrate King Vittorio Emanuele in Rome, as well as several drawings to complete or restore medieval and Renaissance monuments. The most famous of these are the Badia Fiorentina and Santa Croce churches in Florence, the cathedrals of Milan and Bologna, and the monument of Bartolommeo Aragazzi in Montepulciano. He also became inspector of archaeological excavations and monuments in Arezzo (1875-1887) and Florence (1883-1886), and was one of the editors of the journal Riccordi di Architettura.

He died in Bibbiena on December 30, 1890.


The collection is organized in five series by staff of the Biblioteca Berenson: 1. photographs and drawings of monuments, 2. reproductions of artworks, 3. oversized materials, 4. personal papers, and 5. study materials. Materials in series 1 are organized alphabetically by the name of the city. This reflects the original arrangement by Emilio Marcucci. There is no information as to the original arrangement of the rest of the collection.

Processed by

Spyros Koulouris

Emilio Marcucci photograph collection, 1850-1890: A Finding Aid
Biblioteca Berenson
Febrary 2, 2019
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Biblioteca Berenson, I Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies Repository

Via di Vincigliata 26
Florence 50135 Italy
+39 055 603 251
+39 055 603 383 (Fax)