Publifoto Archive


Agenzia Publifoto was founded in Milan in 1937 by Vincenzo Carrese (Castellammare di Stabia, 1910 – Guanzate, 1981), previously the representative of various foreign agencies from 1927.
In 1934, Carrese was called on to run the in-house photographic department of the “Corriere della Sera”, a role that soon led him to establish his own company and employ photographers: the “Foto Agenzia Keystone di Carrese Vincenzo” was founded in November 1937 and, from the 1st of January, 1939, it adopted the name “Publifoto, photographs for publication”. Among the first photographers hired were Fedele Toscani, Tino Petrelli, Peppino Giovi and Carlo Ancillotti.
A large group of photographers made it possible for the Agency to document any type of event and swiftly provide photographs of news, sport and current affairs for publication. Moreover, the in-house photo laboratory ensured it could rapidly produce prints for the stories covered.
Within a short time, Carrese opened a branch in Rome and, after the war, with the recovery of the editorial market, he invested in other cities (including Turin, Naples, Palermo and Genoa) in order to ensure publishing had a widespread network of quality correspondents.
In the nineteen fifties, Publifoto extended its output to photographic services commissioned by businesses and to colour photographs. In the early nineteen sixties, alongside photojournalism, the Agency also developed its commercial side with industrial, advertising and fashion photography. After the death of the founder, Vincenzo Carrese, his sons Ferdinando and Manuela took over the management of the Agency.

The Publifoto Archive contains around 7 million photographs, mostly black and white, covering news, politics, lifestyle, society, culture, sport, landscape and architecture, taken between the nineteen thirties and nineties in Italy and abroad, both by the Agency’s photographers and employees, and by photographers and other agencies who used Publifoto for distribution. The Archive contains negatives on glass and film, contact sheets and black-and-white prints; there are also slides and rare colour prints.
Some years after the death of Vincenzo Carrese, the Archive was sold to Carlo De Benedetti’s Olivetti and then taken over in 1997 by the agency “Fotocronache Olympia S.p.A.”.
In 2015, the Publifoto Archive was bought by Intesa Sanpaolo in order to enhance it as a national cultural asset, an initiative promoted as part of Progetto Cultura, the strategic repository of the Group’s cultural activities.

Discover the photographs exposed at the exhibitions of Gallerie d'Italia.


Safeguarding the Archive of the most important Italian photographic agency by Intesa Sanpaolo is not limited solely to the act of purchasing it.
The management of the Archive has been assigned to the Intesa Sanpaolo Historical Archive which, bolstered by ten years’ experience in the management of its photographic section, carried out the registration of the Publifoto Archive, identified the urgent needs for preservation and planned operations for its development.
Numerous projects have been conducted of preservation and restoration, cataloguing, digitisation and enhancement. For the restoration and enhancement of the Archive, Intesa Sanpaolo collaborates with "La Venaria Reale" Centre of Preservation and Restoration of Turin and CAMERA – the Italian Centre for Photography.
From the perspective of boosting the use of technology applied to cultural assets, in order to broaden the possibility of access and sharing this rich heritage, the catalogue of the photographs of the Intesa Sanpaolo Publifoto Archive is also published through Linked Open Data on the website https://dati-asisp.intesasanpaolo.com/lod/resource/Dataset/Publifoto.html.
With the opening of the fourth site of the Gallerie d’Italia in Piazza San Carlo in Turin, the Publifoto Archive can now enjoy full public appreciation. The digitised photographs of the precious heritage will be accessible and can be consulted thanks to the large interactive wall of Archivio Vivo, from which, through the new "digital guide", it will be possible to save up to 10 images of choice on personal devices.

Consult the catalogue of photos belonging to the Publifoto Archive.

Install the Gallerie d'Italia app on your smartphone:

The app has also been designed for interaction with the museum areas and installations, thanks to beacon technology which allows the users to position themselves inside the museum (indoor positioning), receive news about museum events, and find their way around the underground areas. Furthermore, by scanning the QR codes scattered around the exhibition, it is possible to see the information cards of the works.