Alinari History of Italy
Università IULM Fratelli Alinari Università degli studi di Milano with the contribution of
Fondazione Cariplo



Photographs from the MNAF didactic workshop. The museum uses Photo-Memory, a multimedia game designed by Roberto Glaviano, Michela Iacopini and Andrea Serafin, coordinated by Lea Landucci and Nicola Torpei within the Masters in Multimedia Content Design programme of the University of Florence, and Laura Ciomei for the iconographic research.

Didactic workshop

Strengthen visual memory referred to the Risorgimento

from 30 minutes to 1 and a half hours

You will need:
cardboard, glue, scissors, cutters, ruler and square, pencils and crayons

following the suggestions, create a Memory game with pictures from the Risorgimento. The pictures, if observed, memorized, compared and commented on become precious didactic tools.

Suggestions on how to work independently:

Photo by Marino Sterle
1. Photo by Marino Sterle. Select a number of pictures from the Gallery to illustrate the "Italy poses" text. The number of pictures is established according to the number of teams, the age of the participants and the time available. You must download all the pictures you choose and print twice to obtain "twin" pictures. You could, for example, start with 6 couples. Each image from the gallery can be downloaded several times.
Photo by Marino Sterle
2. Photo by Marino Sterle. Paste the picture onto the cardboard with some glue. Trim the cardboard with a cutter to the standard format of 5x5 cm2. The back of all the cards will be identical. Lay the cardboards down on the table with the pictures facing down.

Photo by Marino Sterle
3. Photo by Marino Sterle. Once you have made your memory cards, the game begins. The first team turns over a card.
Photo by Marino Sterle
4. Photo by Marino Sterle. The first team turns over a second card.

Photo by Marino Sterle
5. Photo by Marino Sterle. Probably the pictures will not be the same on your first attempt.
Photo by Marino Sterle
6. Photo by Marino Sterle. The cardboards are turned over again, face down. Every time you do not get a pair, you pass to the other team.

Photo by Marino Sterle
7. Photo by Marino Sterle. At some point, a team will pick two identical pictures.
Photo by Marino Sterle
8. Photo by Marino Sterle. The team picks the two identical pictures and scores a point.

Photo by Marino Sterle
9. Photo by Marino Sterle. Alternatively, the team leaves the two identical cards face up on the table and somehow marks a point. The team that turns over a pair picks repeat its turn.
Photo by Marino Sterle
10. Photo by Marino Sterle. When all the pairs have been turned over the game is finished and the team who has collected most pairs wins the game (you could get joint winners).

Photo by Marino Sterle
11. Photo by Marino Sterle. A variation to the game could consist in pairing the pictures by association. To identify the different but associated pictures more easily these may be identified by a frame of the same colour.
Photo by Marino Sterle
12. Photo by Marino Sterle. This game will lead us to reflect on what makes the two pictures similar or different. This portrait of Garibaldi by the Alinari studio has definitely influenced the iconography of the character: the two pictures of Garibaldi can be used in the "spot the difference" game.

Photo by Marino Sterle
13. Photo by Marino Sterle. At the end of the game new associations can be made. These two photographs could be associated because they both show face and bust in a similar pose.
Photo by Marino Sterle
14. Photo by Marino Sterle. These two images can be associated because they show how in the 19th century, photography was integrated into the objects.

Photo by Marino Sterle
15. Photo by Marino Sterle. Have fun creating many Photo Memory games to play with. This ancient game, that you also find on mobile phones, can be played as a solitaire.

Questions and considerations:

Look for portraits of Garibaldi in the "Posing Italy" Gallery at or directly on the internet to see how many there are. You can create a Memory game dedicated entirely to this historical figure and reflection on his relationship with photography.

  1. Do you think Garibaldi's images show the same characteristics in paintings as in photography? Why do other kinds of representation portray Garibaldi riding a horse while this is never seen in a photograph? Have you noticed that all his photographs, differently to the graphic-artistic renditions are without a background, i.e. without a historical or geographical background?
  2. As shown in photographs of Garibaldi as well as of other figures of the Risorgimento, the representation of the subject and the setting tend to be separate. Try to create a montage that in some way overturns this characteristic, for example by putting together Garibaldi's portrait by Le Gray after the anti-Bourbonic revolt with a photo of Palermo by the same author, which you can download from the "Italy Poses" Gallery. Could this have been possible before Photoshop was invented?
  3. Also contained in this ample collection are images of images: for examples drawings that copy engravings, photographs of photographs usually indicated as “photographic reproductions”, lithographs made from a photo and so on. If you can find an evident graphic interpretation of a photo of Garibaldi in the website, you can understand how photography has influenced other forms of representation.
  4. Photographs are undoubtedly the result of a balance between photographer and model. We can think that Garibaldi's pose in most of his photographs was suggested by the photographer, while the clothes were probably chosen by himself, so that the photographer could concentrate on the stylistic aspect while the general could concentrate on the propaganda effect. In trying to establish how a photograph could be significant and should be shot in a particular manner, we must also consider other aspects, like the customer/user, who, especially since Garibaldi became an icon, looked for images which expressed heroism. What does the portrait of the “Dictator of Two Sicilies" suggest nowadays? Did you know that Garibaldi's image is commonly used in advertising, as you can see by browsing the internet?

you can find possible variations in the above workshop or also below. Try the activity by pairing a distinguished figure of the Risorgimento with a contemporary celebrity, photos of which may be taken from papers and magazines: once you have made your own Memory game, show it to a friend who will have pair the images and also guess with what criteria these images are associated ...

Suggestions for continuing the activity:
follow the suggestions, invent your own creative path, answer the questions, take part in the MNAF didactic workshops in Florence.

For further information:
Gabriella de Polo
Didactic Coordination
Fratelli Alinari. Fondazione per la storia della Fotografia


Filter by date