The photographic collection of the Städel Museum grew continuously, also thanks to gifts from private persons. Gerhard Malß, who succeeded Johann David Passavant as director of the Städelsches Kunstinstitut in 1861, devoted himself to the collection’s further development. In 1864 he donated photos from his private holdings to the Städel, including views of Neptune Temple in Paestum. They had been taken by one of the most successful photographers of the time. Under the Italianized first name Giorgio, Georg Sommer—who had trained as a businessman in Frankfurt—opened photo studios in Rome and Naples in 1856/57. He and Edmund/Edmondo Behles of Stuttgart together also explored the south of Italy. In the 1860s it was a region that had not yet been exploited for tourism while at the same time its many ancient buildings
offered a wealth of motifs. For the shootings, the photographers stepped into the role of ‘staffage’ themselves.