Art photography: Venice by Carlo Naya
Venice by Carlo Naya (1816-1822)
These famous images of Venice are the work of Carlo Naya (1816-1882), who was born near Turin in 1816. After studying law he seems to have travelled widely and worked as a daguerreotypist, setting up a a studio in Prague and in Constantinople. On his return to Italy he had a brief partnership with Carlo Ponti before setting up his own business in the Piazza San Marco in 1868. From that point onwards Naya and Ponti were rivals in taking images of the landmarks and attractions of Venice with Naya's business growing to become one of the largest in Venice.
A visitor in 1882 described Naya‘s studio as "the largest establishment we think we ever saw devoted to photography, in an old palace on the other side of the grand canal".
Naya was a beneficiary of the growing tourist trade to Italy in general and to Venice particular. Thousands of visitors were eager to have memories to take home of the sights of the city showing the buildings, canals, monuments and harbours and, of course, gondolas. These images also fuelled the tourist trade to Venice and enhanced the appeal of the city. After Naya's death in 1882 the business continued to be run by his wife.