Attilio del Comune (Mantua, 1928 – Milan, 2000) combined his career as an industrial and commercial photographer working to commission with a personal activity of research. The collection comprises the totality of the author’s works, most of which are linked to his work for industry and related advertising campaigns, while his lines of formal research found expression in studies of still lifes, chiefly dating from the sixties, in pictures of the landscape (urban and rural) and, above all, in the portrait.

A central theme in the work of Attilio del Comune, his investigation of the human figure – which also played a large part in his commercial photography (see the series Gente, lavoro, vita of the sixties and his features on concerts by a number of great jazz musicians that were shown at the exhibition Jazz Portrait, 1998) – was taken further from the eighties onward. These were the years of the exhibitions Ambrosiani (1985) and La scena artistica milanese (1987), both devoted to personalities of the economic, artistic and political world of Milan, as well as of the portraits taken for magazines (Capital, Plus and Gente Money) and his photographs of the great family community of Villapizzone (Famigliona).

His interest in the form and expressions of the human face also underlay the series realized for the exhibition Doppio ritratto (1995), whose subject was the 17th-century polychrome terracotta statues of the Sacro Monte di Orta. Thus portraits represented the climax of his artistic development: they are works which appear to be deeply rooted in the highest iconographic tradition of the genre, “classical” in their use of light, in their frontal view, in the centrality of the framing, in the neutrality of the background and even in the insertion of objects symbolic of the activity of the person portrayed.