Crónica de la Gran Guerra [Chronicle of the Great War]

Touring exhibit

La Gran Guerra exhibition on tour. L'Arxiu de Tànger in the municipalities of the province, after being exhibited at the Museu Valencià d'Etnologia

Pictures from the war collection of La Casa de la Imagen in Logroño devoted to First World War. The archive of the First World War narrates the journey of an officer on the front lines, bearing witness to the landscapes of the war, to the leaders and to the led. The archive was recovered at a market in Tangier in 1999 having been preserved in ten small wooden boxes. Each of the boxes contained about fifty glass plates. All of them are stereoscopic negatives, a photographic speciality that allowed you to see the photos in three dimensions. The fact that they are the original negatives indicates that they belonged to the photographer himself and were not commercial copies, which would always be positives. These pictures have never previously been published and, in fact, never left the author's home.

The photos were taken between 1916 and 1935, and the archive is divided into two main blocks: one relating to the First World War, which reflects in 254 pictures the author's time on the front lines, and the other one relating to the post-war period up to 1935, which portrays in 224 photographs the family on their excursions, holidays and other moments.

The pictures of the World War are of incalculable aesthetic and historical value. Travelling along the so-called Western Front, the officer keeps himself entertained by capturing all aspects of warfare, ranging from trivial and curious to cruel and starkly realistic moments. From his convertible car, he photographs both strange weapons and soldiers who were killed. It is the vision of the officer at war, analytical and distant, but with an exceptional sense of aesthetics.

The state of preservation of the archive is good, varying from acceptable to excellent, with few exceptions. It has now been completely restored, catalogued and digitised with a high-resolution camera using non-aggressive procedures. After its digital conversion, it has been subject to a historical study, image by image.