Matilde Casati

«A living encyclopaedia». The Kingdom of Italy to the International Exhibition of 1862

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The Kingdom of Italy, shortly after his political-territorial unification, participated at the "International Exhibition" held in London in 1862 and so made its debut on the international stage. The first Italian national exhibition, held in Florence in 1861, was for the Kingdom of Italy a sort of 'dress rehearsal' to strengthen the image of the new Nation in view of the Londoner event. As the "Great Exhibition" (London, 1851), the first universal exhibition, the "International Exhibition" of 1862 was organized as «a living encyclopaedia», but compared with the previous one, the belief in progress was not so unconditional. In the article the author examines the contribution of the Italian kingdom to the English exhibition of 1862 through contemporary sources, and highlights the expectations of the Italian government and the results obtained, especially considering the applied and figurative arts.


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