Lecchi's photographs, albeit in their lithographic translation for printing, are part of the vast iconographic production that began almost simultaneously with the fall of the Republic. The photographer drew only a temporary economic benefit from his photographs partly because of the impossibility, linked to the technical characteristics of the type of photography used, of obtaining a large number of positive copies on a large scale. Contemporary lithographic publishing drew on his images for huge circulation through printed translation without even mentioning his name. Reference was made only to the type of document used as the source from which the lithographs were derived with the words "taken from daguerreotype" a term which at the time meant generally a photograph.
Skilled copyists in iconographic production copied the photographs and made illustrations from them that achieved great success.
Numerous and remarkable series of engravings derived after Lecchi’s calotypes in 1849, and again in 1870, after the annexation of Rome to the Kingdom of Italy. Particularly noteworthy are the extremely accurate engravings that were published in two series by Michele Danesi and Carlo Soleil after drawings by Berzotti and Badioli, and the one by Ferrini after drawings by Gallassi.
Intense and diverse, both in technical quality and purpose, is the production of Roman publishing. Because of the characteristic appeal of the city, the art market was always essentially focused on a cosmopolitan audience. This varied "regular clientele" is now joined by those who, in various ways, are or feel affected by the events that have just taken place. In this context the image thus provides multiple and varied keys to interpretation: it can be seen as a testimony to the struggle that has just ended, but it can also represent a new element in that iconography of ruins that has always been characteristic of the way Rome is represented.
Lithographs of new ruins seem to replace those of monuments and "classic" views of Rome. The walls of the collapsed ramparts, the destroyed or damaged houses and buildings filled the landscape with a new majesty.
Five scudi was the price, also reported in English, of the Views of the Siege of Rome of 1849 drawn by Carl Werner and engraved by Domenico Amici. At the same time, the renewed flow of tourists, the presence of many French soldiers, and also of numerous women who had joined their parents and husbands, stimulated the market for souvenir prints, often made after photographs.
Lecchi's photographs, albeit in their lithographic translation for printing, fit into the panorama of the vast iconographic production that began almost simultaneously with the fall of the Republic. The photographer drew only a temporary economic benefit from his photographs partly because of the impossibility, linked to the characteristics of the technique used, of obtaining a large number of positive copies on a large scale. Contemporary lithographic publishing drew on his images for huge circulation through printed translation without even mentioning his name. Reference was made only to the type of document used as the source from which the lithographs were derived with the words "taken from daguerreotype", a term that at the time was used generically to indicate a photograph.
Skilled copyists in iconographic production copied the photographs and made illustrations that enjoyed great success thanks to the irrefutable evidence that characterized them. The features to be reproduced in the drawing and then in the engraving were chosen in the process of transporting from the photograph to the plat.
From Lecchi's calotypes derived as early as 1849 and later in 1870, after the annexation of Rome to the Kingdom of Italy, numerous significant engraving series among which should be mentioned those extremely accurate and published in two series by Michele Danesi and Carlo Soleil on drawings by Berzotti and Badioli and that of Ferrini with drawings by Gallassi.
The images by Berzotti and Badioli are inserted three by three in Ruine della guerra di Roma del 1849. Tratte dal daguerrotipo. In the various plates where images of places are accompanied by figures of uniformed soldiers, the caption reads Rovine della guerra di Roma del 1849. Tratte dal daguerrotipo. The presence of men in uniform serves to animate the scene, to make evident the human cost of the struggle sustained, and to tie the visual documentation more closely to the event. The inclusion of uniformed soldiers of the Roman Republic serves to historicize the event and extol the valor of those who had fought.
Two plates feature images clearly taken from the juxtaposition of Lecchi's photographs. A second edition, datable to the 1870s, was published in Rome by Danesi. The individual scenes, taken from Lecchi's photographs, are now set individually in a rich typographic frame, in a triumph of military emblems with the image of the She-wolf at the top and the corresponding caption at the bottom.
To the lithographer Ferrini is owed a series of lithographic plates, also published in 1849, on a yellow-orange colored backdrop, a choice derived from the need to cancel the sense of emptiness given by the white background of the paper. The plates bear the lithographer's name and the date «1849» on the lower left; in the center the indication of the subject and on the right the indication of the publisher «lit. Ferrini». Another lithographic version, edited by Ferrini and again derived from Lecchi's photographs, is made by Gallassi, probably after 1870, for the plates Rovine della guerra di Roma del 1849.
Also, in 1849, Ferrini publishes several lithographs by Gallassi in the Atlante generale dell’assedio di Roma by Cav. prof. Pompilio De Cuppis. It is interesting to note that the author, who described himself as a “former officer in the I-R. Austrian Army, a member of various Scientific Societies in France and Italy” , stated that his work constituted a topographical study. In such a framework the numerous «grafiche espressioni» [graphic expressions] that isolated could only provide “a picturesque Poliorama, a Souvenir of the damages caused by the siege war” , could be better contextualized to provide a more scientific presentation of the events.
De Cuppis's work constitutes a confirmation of the vast iconographic production that interest in the events in Rome had aroused. It is no coincidence that on September 22nd, 1849, in L’Album - giornale letterario e di belle arti, De Cuppis stated: “As soon as hostilities ceased, a large number of artists of all kinds went to the place of military operations in order to portray the perspective views of the various buildings that the action of the cannon had most bizarrely disrupted. Within a short time, a good number of drawings were exhibited at the principal foundations of fine arts in Rome, which with great resemblance to life depict now the ruins of a casino, now an open bastion in breach, now a smashed battery” .
In the depictions of the places where the combat had occurred, after the siege, the scenes, whether they were executed as drawings, lithographs, or paintings, become animated and populated by male and female passersby, men looking through telescopes or digging among or lying upon mounds of ruins. But the most interesting thing to note is that in many of the lithographs in the Ferrini and Gallassi series there is a depiction of a person (the draughtsman himself?), who with a nonchalant, detached manner, wanders smoking through the scene with his portfolio and parasol under his arm almost looking for the place to stop, open it and begin sketching his drawings.
De Cuppis also specified that his Atlas, plausibly with all the images in it, had already been presented to the «Commessari di Stato» for authorization for printing. We can therefore propose a date ante quem for Lecchi’s photographs: the date of publication of the newspaper (September 22nd, 1849). Moreover, keeping in mind that the transposition to lithograph required a certain amount of time for production, probably Lecchi’s photographic campaign took place as early as July, or August at the latest, in 1849. This hypothesis is, for that matter, perfectly congruent with the date on the Cheney album: September 20th, 1849.
(Maria Pia Critelli)
 «già ufficiale del I.R. Armata Austriaca, membro di varie Società Scientifiche di Francia e d’Italia»
 «un Poliorama pittoresco, un Souvenir de’ guasti causati dalla guerra d’assedio»
 «Non appena cessarono le ostilità che un numeroso stuolo di artisti di ogni genere si recarono sul luogo delle operazioni militari onde ritrarre le vedute prospettiche dei vari edifizi che l’azione del cannone avea più bizzarramente sconquassato. In breve d’ora si videro esposti presso i principali fondaci di belle arti in Roma buon numero di disegni, i quali con molta somiglianza al vero rappresentano ora i ruderi di un casino, ora un bastione aperto in breccia, ora una batteria sfracellata»