This wonderful rare volume of photogravures of Venice and the Lombardy region of Italy is the work of the pioneering Victorian Scottish photographer James Craig Annan.

Annan grew up in Glasgow, where he trained in photography under his father, Thomas Annan. In 1883, the pair travelled to Vienna to learn the photogravure process of turning negatives into etchings, for which they then acquired the British rights.

In 1894, Annan made a trip to Northern Italy with the artist David Young Cameron. The 11 photogravures published in this volume are the result of pictures taken during this visit. Among them is a photogravure of two monks, titled The White Friars, described by American photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) as ‘one of the greatest pictures ever made by means of a camera’. Other photogravures in the book show street scenes and picturesque views.

This copy is numbered five of an edition of 75, although it is likely that fewer than this number were ever actually produced. Most surviving sets of the photogravures now exist as loose prints, so this volume in its original binding makes an important addition to the National Library of Scotland’s strong holdings of illustrated books that have been produced by Scottish photographers.


The book was gifted to Glasgow Art Club by James Craig Annan. The Club has asked Lindsey Stewart (formerly worked for Quaritch and Christies) of Stewart & Skeels to sell the volume on their behalf. The council of the Club does not want to announce publicl

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