Archivio Della Veneranda Fabbrica Franz Heyland, Il Duomo E Il Rebecchino, 1860 Circa
11 January Jan 2017 1648 2 years ago

Francesco Heyland, a luminary of Milan's early photography

The Duomo Tells Its Story

The photo library of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo's Archives houses and preserves more than 90,000 photo-types differing in subject, dating, photographic technique, and artist. Of the many photographers that have, over time, immortalized life around the Duomo, today we single out Francesco Heyland, an artist  who became well-known in Milan during the second half of the 19th century.

Heyland began his career in his father's photography and daguerreotype studio, located in the old Rebecchino neighbourhood. He worked here from 1857 to 1865, the year in which, together with another professional from the industry, Hyppolite Deroche from France, he founded “Deroche & Heyland”: specializing in vitrified photographs on enamel, the company competed in the 1867 World's Fair in Paris with a series of portraits for which they won the Silver Medal.

Towards the end of his career Heyland dissolved the company he had established with Deroche and dedicated himself almost exclusively to the vitrified photography technique, with a particular focus on the sale of funerary portraits.

Despite his pronounced interest in portraiture, he also paid quite a bit of attention to the city of Milan, which was the subject of many of his photographs. An example is the photograph by Heyland on display in the "Il Duomo si racconta" exhibit, currently open to the public in the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo's Archives until 28 February 2017.