Paolo Sala and Milan’s Expo 1906

Paolo Sala, Expo postcards, International Exhibition, Milan 1906

Arrival Station in Piazza d'Armi

After Giuseppe Palanti, todays the spotlight is on Paolo Sala (1859-1904): successful Milanese painter, awesome traveler (he visited Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Argentina, France, and Russia that we know of), noted watercolorist, professor at Moscow’s Academy, founder and chair of the “Lombard Watercolorist Group”… and finally postcard illustrator for Expo 1906.

What was host city Milan like, during the months of the event? “In 1905, the Simplon Tunnel was completed: Milan found itself suddenly closer to Paris. A great event is now held in celebration: the 1905 Expo, an international exhibition that honors means of transportation and the development of infrastructures. It is entrusted with one million square meters, divided in two areas: the Park around Sforza Castle and the Parade Ground (which would later become the Fiera Campionaria fairground). There are 225 buildings, 40 nations […], 35,000 exhibitors, over 6 months […]. Elegant men and women arrive by carriage to Sforza Castle and crowd the park, which is full of wonderful things: cars, trains, hot air balloons, boats to travel across the seas or down rivers, a factory with a whole productive cycle in full operation…” (A. Pezzotta-A. Gilardelli, “Milano d’Italia”, Bompiani, Milan 2011).

Now let’s let images do the talking.

April 28, 2015