Historical Guests

Portofino, a World apart
February 2009

Alfred Noack in Portofino

In love with the beauty of the Ligurian riviera and in particular of the Portofino Coast, Alfred Noackdedicated a large part of his life immortalizing it through photography.He was a true prince of this art, one of the first, and we are indebted to him for his many images of Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino of his time.

He was originally fromDresden, the splendid capital of Saxony, called as is known, the Florence of the north. The city was completely destroyed by allied bombardment the final day of World War II.

Alfred Noack was thus a lover of art and as Giuseppe Mercenaro writes, “... he brought to the exploration of the riviera his background. His eye was nurtured by the city of his origin where painters, some Venetians like Bernardo Bellotto, painted portraits of the city, its bridges, and its parks with near photographic exactness. In Noak, the climate and the artistic legacy of Dresden can be read in his Ligurian landscapes“. He came to north Italy because in Germany he was overshadowed by his teacher Herman Krone. In Italy instead, and above all in Liguria where he opened his own studio in Genoa in via del Filo 1, he developed his art with success.

Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino, with their great landscapes, with the incredible lights that at times the sky and sea were capable of rendering, were the objectives he relished most. To portray them well required, in addition to his Germanic precision, his innate romanticism that allowed him to choose those “magic” moments that lent such an exotic quality to his photos. Unfortunately, apart from the legacy of his photographs, we have little to remember this artist by. Of his life in Liguria we know that he was a member of a masonic lodge in Genoa, that he travelled through the entire region, he worked very hard and died in 1895. He is buried in the cemetery of Staglieno, in the section for foreigners, a short distance from the tomb of the wife of Oscar Wilde.

Alfred Noack

Portofino, a World apart.