B. BORRI e FIGLIO (Dalmatia, Cherso 1842-1924 & Greece, Corfu 1873-1931 / act: Corfu)

B. Borri e Figlio B. Borri e Figlio was the firm of a family of photographers that worked successfully in Corfu for 75 years, from 1869 to 1944.

Bartolomeo Borri, founder of the firm, was born in 1842 on Cherso Island of Dalmatia, which at that time belonged to Italy, and grew up in Trieste. It is probable that he learned the art of photography there. He originated from an old Italian family, whose family crests in San Marco of Cherso are traced to medieval times. He settled on Corfu in 1869 and opened up a studio known as 'Stabilimento Fotografico di B. Borri' at 1122 Agiou Spiridonos Street. In 1875 he took part at the Third Olympia of Athens, where he received the bronze medallion. In 1878 he took part at the International Exhibition of Paris with his photographs from Corfiot landscapes and received yet again an award. Alongside portraits, Borri was preoccupied with systematically photographing various aspects of Corfu town, as well as the island's countryside. Borri would attach his best photographs on albums, which he would then sell to visiting tourists. At that period of time, he printed his mounts at LPG of Milan and at A. Moll of Vienna. Around 1876 his studio address changed to 1120 Agiou Spyridonos Street. The vignette at the rear of his prints was same as before, excepting the letters that are enclosed in a fine border. At the top is a complex design of his initials 'BB' interlocked. right below are the both sides of his awarded medallions. One of his greatest awards was the Honorary Medallion of the International Exhibition of Paris in 1889. In the last phase of his practice (1890-1897) he used mounts from Bernhard Wachtl in Vienna.

Bartolomeo's son, Giuseppe Borri, was born in Corfu in 1873. Studying photography under his father since his early youth, he made his official appearance as a partner in the firm around 1890. The company became known as 'B.Borri e figlio' and the studio moved to a private property at 1200 Kapodistriou Street. In 1894 father and son took part at the International Exhibtion of Brussels and were awarded for their photographs. In 1900 they participated in the great International Exhibition of Paris, and in 1907 at the respective exhibition of Bordeaux, where they were honored with the Great Award. At the beginning of the twentieth century B. Borri e Figlio circulated card postals with Corfiot landscapes, which were printed using photographic methods. Later, these would be produced using the method of metalplate prints up to 1937.

In 1912 Bartolomeo Borri retired in Trieste, leaving behind the studio with his son Giuseppe. He died there in 1924 at the age of eighty-four. His son managed to run the well-known studio with the same success until his death in 1931. Successor to the firm was his son Rodolfo Borri, who was born in Corfu in 1913. In 1942, after the Greek-Italin War and the Italian invasion of the Ionian Islands, Rodolfo was forced to enroll at the Italian Army. Last successor at the studio was Maria Borri, wife of Rodolfo, who managed to keep it running up to 1944, after which she was obliged to close it down after its seventy-five years operation. The contents of the studio were largely dispersed. Approximately sixty photographs by Bartolomeo Borri are still preserved by his granddaughter Barbara Borri in Rome.

[Alkis Xanthakis translated by Megakles 08/2006]