Maria Callas. Portraits from the Intesa Sanpaolo Publifoto Archive


Gallerie d'Italia - Milan


From November 9th 2023 to February 18th 2024


From 9 November to 5 December 2023: Full price €5, reduced price €3; free admission for pass holders, schools, under-18s and Intesa Sanpaolo Group employees
From 6 December 2023 to 18 February 2024: Full price €10, reduced price €8, special reduction €5 for Intesa Sanpaolo Group customers and under-26s; free admission for pass holders, schools, under-18s and Intesa Sanpaolo Group employees.


2 December 2023 will mark the centenary of Maria Callas' birth.
The Intesa Sanpaolo Publifoto Archive preserves a large number of photographs - negatives and vintage prints - portraying the great soprano on public and private occasions, covering a timeline that spans the most significant years of her career.

The exhibition - 91 pictures taken from 1954 to 1970 - offers space to the valuable legacy made up of the numerous vintage prints in the Publifoto Archive, many of which are unpublished or have never been exhibited before, favouring the type of pictures typical of a photo-journalistic agency, portraying Callas in her everyday life “behind the scenes”.

Maria Callas prova abiti nell'atelier Biki, Milano, 1° maggio 1958 Fotografia di Franco Gremignani - Publifoto 32,30 x 21,80 cm Archivio Publifoto

Despite this peculiarity, the exhibition opens and closes with two photographs portraying the great artist inside La Scala: the first photo, dated 1 December 1954, shows her with the three great conductors Arturo Toscanini, Victor De Sabata and Antonino Votto, after a rehearsal for La Vestale; the last one is dated 7 December 1970 and portrays her return to La Scala, as a spectator, next to Wally Toscanini.

Publifoto was the most important Italian photojournalistic agency of the 20th century, founded in Milan in 1937 by Vincenzo Carrese.

To celebrate the centenary of Maria Callas's birth, on display some valuable vintage prints, created not only by the agency's photographers, but also by national and international artists.

All photographs on display were catalogued and digitalized by Historical Archives and are available for free consultation on the website Archivio Storico di Intesa Sanpaolo.


In the context of