Past Exhibitions

Images from the Past: Rome in the Photography of Peter Paul Mackey, 1890-1901

An exhibition in the Soane Gallery from the 19 June -12 September 2009

Little is known of the life and personality of the English Dominican Father, Peter Paul Mackey. He was born in Erdington, near Birmingham in 1851, studied law at Oscott College and completed his theological studies in Louvain. He arrived in Rome in 1881 to work on the Leonine edition of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas and remained in the city until his death in 1935. Elected an Associate of the British School at Rome in 1906, he presented a set of over 2,000 prints and negatives (now lost) of his photographs to the BSR, accompanied by a detailed hand-written catalogue. These photographs of Rome, to be shown in this exhibition for the first time, offer a fascinating portrait of the city at the end of the 19th century. On the one hand it appears still immersed in the countryside, more rural than urban, with vineyards and market gardens, as seen in this image of artichoke cultivation on the Aventine. A city unexpectedly industrial with smoking chimneys on the skyline and factories filling the Circus Maximus, subsequently demolished.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue.