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Hilde Lotz-Bauer, Street Photographer

When twenty-seven-year-old Hilde Lotz-Bauer arrived in Italy for the first time in 1934 she fell madly in love with it. The young woman, who had studied art history and then followed photography courses in Munich, had arrived in Italy together with her husband, the art historian Bernhard Degenhart, to continue her research at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence and at the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome. During her first stay, which ended at the height of World War II in 1943, Hilde was the only professional photographer working at the Historical Institutes of Rome and Florence, producing impeccable images of sculpture, drawing, architecture and urban planning. At the same time, both for commissioned projects and for the pure pleasure of discovery, the German photographer traveled across Italy, from North to South, moving among the people with her small portable Leica, capturing the life of cities as well as rural areas more isolated, photographing almost without being noticed the entire humanity that inhabited these territories. Today Hilde Lotz-Bauer is considered a true pioneer of street photography. Her work is one of the first examples of twentieth-century photojournalism, which places her alongside great contemporary masters such as Henri Cartier-Bresson.

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