Photographer Carlo Naya owned one of the most successful photographic businesses in Venice, specializing in a large stock of negatives showing the city’s buildings, canals, monuments and canals. His shop in Piazza San Marco was one of two major photographic firms in Venice (the other was owned by Carlo Ponti, Naya’s former employer).
I first became aware of Carlo Naya when the Historic Houses Trust in Sydney presented an exhibition in 1996 at the Museum of Sydney entitled Views of Abroad. The exhibition showcased photographic images from the collection of Rouse Hill House (founded 1813), and the Rouse family’s extensive collection of photographs acquired during their European tours undertaken in 1868-69, 1874-76 and 1878-88, including a series of exquisite prints by Carlo Naya.
Some of Naya’s most famous images of Venice including the Basilica di San Marco (circa 1876) and View of the Piazetta from a gondola (circa 1876) were included in the exhibition.
The Historic Houses Trust’s picture collection also contains a series of 32 mechanically coloured photographs of European cities, monuments and buildings which were pasted into an album by members of the Rouse family. The collection includes several views of Venice including: