|Born||2 September 1834|
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
|Died||7 August 1914 79) (aged|
Giorgio Sommer (1834–1914) was one of Europe’s most important and prolific photographers of the 19th century.  Active from 1857 to 1888, he produced thousands of images of archeological ruins, landscapes, art objects and portraits.
He was born in Frankfurt am Main (modern-day Germany), where he studied business. Sommer opened his first photography studio in Switzerland, where he made relief images of mountains for the Swiss government. In 1856 moved his business to Naples and later (1866) formed a partnership with fellow German photographer Edmund Behles (also known as Edmondo Behles), who owned a studio in Rome. Operating from their respective Naples and Rome studios, Sommer and Behles became one of the largest and most prolific photography concerns in Italy.
He held studios in Naples at:
Sommer's catalog included images from the Vatican Museum, the National Archeological Museum at Naples, the Roman ruins at Pompeii, as well as street and architectural scenes of Naples, Florence, Rome, Capri and Sicily.  Most notably, Sommer published his comprehensive album Dintorni di Napoli, which contained over one hundred images of everyday scenes in Naples. In April 1872, he documented a very large eruption of Mount Vesuvius in a series of stunning photographs.
Sommer and Behles exhibited extensively and earned numerous honors and prizes for their work (London 1862, Paris 1867, Vienna 1873, Nuremberg 1885). At one time, Sommer was appointed official photographer to King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy.
Sommer was involved in every aspect of the photography business. He published his own images that he sold in his studios and to customers across Europe. In later years, he photographed custom images for book illustrations, as well as printing his own albums and postcards. Sommer worked in all the popular formats of his day: carte de visite, stereoview, and large albumen prints (approximately 8 × 10) which were sold individually and in bound albums.
The partnership with Behles ended in 1874, after which each photographer continued his own business. In Naples, Sommer opened a total of four additional studios: at No. 4 and No. 8 Monte di Dio, No. 5 Magazzino S. Caterina, and a last at Piazza della Vittoria.
Sommer died in Naples in 1914.
Campania is an administrative region of Italy; most of it is in the south-western portion of the Italian peninsula, but it also includes the small Phlegraean Islands and the island of Capri. The capital of the Campania region is Naples. As of 2018, the region had a population of around 5,820,000 people, making it Italy's third most populous region, and, with an area of 13,590 km2 (5,247 sq mi), its most densely populated region. Based on its GDP, Campania is also the most economically productive region in southern Italy and the 7th most productive in the whole country. Naples' urban area, which is in Campania, is the eighth most populous in the European Union. The region is home to 10 of the 58 UNESCO sites in Italy, including Pompeii and Herculaneum, the Royal Palace of Caserta, the Amalfi Coast and the Historic Centre of Naples. In addition, Campania's Mount Vesuvius is part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
Mount Vesuvius is a somma-stratovolcano located on the Gulf of Naples in Campania, Italy, about 9 km (5.6 mi) east of Naples and a short distance from the shore. It is one of several volcanoes forming the Campanian volcanic arc. Vesuvius consists of a large cone partially encircled by the steep rim of a summit caldera, resulting from the collapse of an earlier, much higher structure.
Erotic art in Pompeii and Herculaneum has been both exhibited as art and censored as pornography. The Roman cities around the bay of Naples were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, thereby preserving their buildings and artefacts until extensive archaeological excavations began in the 18th century. These digs revealed the cities to be rich in erotic artefacts such as statues, frescoes, and household items decorated with sexual themes. The ubiquity of such imagery and items indicates that the treatment of sexuality in ancient Rome was more relaxed than current Western culture. However, much of what might strike modern viewers as erotic imagery, such as oversized phalluses, could arguably be fertility imagery. Depictions of the phallus, for example, could be used in gardens to encourage the production of fertile plants. This clash of cultures led to many erotic artefacts from Pompeii being locked away from the public for nearly 200 years.
Sorrento is a town overlooking the Bay of Naples in Southern Italy. A popular tourist destination, Sorrento is located on the Sorrentine Peninsula at the south-eastern terminus of the Circumvesuviana rail line, within easy access from Naples and Pompei. The town is widely known for its small ceramics, lacework and marquetry (woodwork) shops.
Capri is an island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrento Peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples in the Campania region of Italy. The main town of Capri that is located on the island shares the name. It has been a resort since the time of the Roman Republic.
The National Archaeological Museum of Naples is an important Italian archaeological museum, particularly for ancient Roman remains. Its collection includes works from Greek, Roman and Renaissance times, and especially Roman artifacts from the nearby Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum sites. From 1816 to 1861 it was known as Real Museo Borbonico.
San Giorgio a Cremano is a primarily residential town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Naples, in Italy. It is located on the foothills of Mount Vesuvius to the west of the volcano, and is six kilometres to the south east of the centre of Naples. Most parts of the municipality command views of Mount Vesuvius, Mount Somma and the Bay of Naples.
Ercolano is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Naples, Campania of Southern Italy. It lies at the western foot of Mount Vesuvius, on the Bay of Naples, just southeast of the city of Naples. The medieval town of Resina was built on the volcanic material left by the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed the ancient city of Herculaneum, from which the present name is derived. Ercolano is a resort and the starting point for excursions to the excavations of Herculaneum and for the ascent of Vesuvius by bus. The town also manufactures leather goods, buttons, glass, and the wine known as Lacryma Christi.
Vincenzo Galdi was an Italian model and photographer. Galdi is regarded as a pioneer in Italian erotic photography. He is known to be first in breaking the taboo of not depicting an erect penis.
Sommer and Behles was a 19th-century Italian photography studio created by the partnership of photographers Giorgio Sommer (1834-1914) and Edmund Behles (1841-1921). Studios were located in Rome at No. 28 Mario di Fiori, and in Naples at No. 4 Monte di Dio. Each photographer had independent careers and studios prior to and following the partnership which began in 1867 and was dissolved in 1874.
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Pompeii was an ancient city located in what is now the comune of Pompei near Naples in the Campania region of Italy. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was buried under 4 to 6 m of volcanic ash and pumice in the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Stabiae was an ancient city situated near the modern town of Castellammare di Stabia and approximately 4.5 km southwest of Pompeii. Like Pompeii, and being only 16 km (9.9 mi) from Mount Vesuvius, this seaside resort was largely buried by tephra ash in 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius, in this case at a smaller depth of up to five metres.
Herculaneum was an ancient town, located in the modern-day comune of Ercolano, Campania, Italy. Herculaneum was buried under volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.
Of the many eruptions of Mount Vesuvius, a major stratovolcano in southern Italy, the best-known is its eruption in 79 AD, which was one of the deadliest in European history. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD is arguably one of the best-known in history.
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