Federico Patellani

(b Monza, 1911; d Milan, 1977). Italian photographer and painter. He studied law before becoming a painter, and he was associated with various artistic movements in Lombardy, in particular the Chiaristi group, which was close to the avant-garde critic Edoardo Persico. Patellani took up photography in 1935, the same year in which he served in the war in East Africa. His first photographs were published in the Milanese newspaper L’Ambrosiano. In 1939 he became part of the team of photographers on the weekly magazine Tempo, which was inspired by the first great international illustrated magazines, in particular Life. Here, he devised the fototesta, an innovative way of presenting news stories using a large number of photographs with a few brief captions, the story thus being told mainly through images, with the photographer as narrator. This was the first time in Italy that the photographer was considered as an intellectual in his own right and not simply a subordinate craftsman.

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