Among the numerous things of note that can be listed regarding the Archive, an important place is taken up by the extraordinary photographic portfolio. Specifically, this photographic collection is rich and multi-layered. But if a purely numerical description of the photographic background can already offer a tempting idea of the materials in the collection, as yet still unpublished, the analysis of its contents (negatives, positives and prints) is even more interesting, especially if connected with the history of Italian painting in the second half of the 19th century, and with the biographies of those who made and used those pictures. And they are indeed two painters who played an important role in the history of Italian art: Mosè Bianchi and Pompeo Mariani. In the archives of both of these artists there are several letters which mention (in more or less elaborate passages) photography, the purchase of materials and the motivation or necessity to take photographs for professional requirements. As of yet, the examination of the documents has not been completed, but they clearly show how both Bianchi and Mariani used photography in an original and “functional” way, without any particular ideological mediations or cultural exclusions.