There isn't really a forum to put this in so this as good as any...
Last week I had the extreme good fortune to - literally - stumble into a major photographic exhibition in Florence dedicated to the Alinari brothers, 3 early Italian pioneers of photography, and the ALINARI firm they founded (still exists). I thought, ho-hum, antquarian stuff, but I was stunned. Then rivetted, then, well I ran out of adjectives.
If you are ANYWHERE in Europe (and especially Italy) before June 2, GO TO SEE THIS. You won't regret it. You will see some staggering street photography, some wonderful architectural work, some pretty good landscapes, and then you'll look at the caption and do a double take on the date. Some of these masterpieces date from the mid 1860s, but you will not believe it. They are timeless, moving and utterly enthralling - not to mention technically and compositionally brilliant.
The exhibition itself is wonderfully well presented.
To my shame I have never heard of the Alinaris, but I'll never forget them now.
Take a look at http://www.alinari.com/default.asp
, and for the exhibition http://www.firenzemostre.com/
ok, so Florence is just down the road for me, but just in case anybody has the opportunity, I had to mention it...