Tuscanyby Sonja Bullaty, Angelo Lomeo
For three decades these photographers have been drawn to Tuscany and its surrounding areas endeavoring to capture the special light, the sculpted countryside, the heralded cities and hilltowns, and the celebrated art and architecture. Their photographic themes include timeless views of ocher landscapes where farmers arrange their haystacks like artists; castles… See more details below
For three decades these photographers have been drawn to Tuscany and its surrounding areas endeavoring to capture the special light, the sculpted countryside, the heralded cities and hilltowns, and the celebrated art and architecture. Their photographic themes include timeless views of ocher landscapes where farmers arrange their haystacks like artists; castles overlooking acres of irises and vineyards; shadowy cypress trees defining the land; explosions of color in springtime; incandescent views of Florence, Siena, and Pisa; faces on sculptures; faded frescoes in silent cloisters and other details of art and architecture; humorous vignettes of the daily round; and sparkling Mediterranean seascapes. This photographic album of Tuscany is truly unlike any other.
In her fascinating text, Marie-Ange Guillaume provides a verbal portrait of the scores of artists and writers, as well as infamous people, who lived or worked in Tuscany, including Michelangelo, Leonardo, Stendhal, Savonarola, the Brownings, Henry James, Modigliani, Fellini, and James Ivory. The anecdotal text, liberally flavored with quotes from the letters and diaries of these well-known individuals, provides insights about Tuscany today and in centuries past.
This book is certain to be a treasured gift for travelers, photographers, students of art and literature, and anyone intrigued by Tuscany and beyond.
- Abbeville Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 10.29(w) x 10.17(h) x 0.84(d)
Read an Excerpt
We have spent a good part of a year in Tuscany, spread over a span of 30 years. What we at first encountered in art is magically there, in realitythe trees and vineyards in a painting come to life on a Tuscan hillside.
The name means so much more than the region. It evokes the Renaissance, a place in time between the middle ages and modern times. The word Tuscany holds the secret to so many other names: Florence, Siena, Pisa; Botticelli, Giotto, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Signorelli; Dante; the Medici; the Etruscans; early music; Chianti wines, and a way with food.
The strange thing is that so much of what we envisioned is still there, and the profusion is overwhelmingthe art, the architecture, the landscape, the landscape in art and art in the landscape. Some of these landscapes go beyond the geographical confines of Tuscany, from the foothills of the
Apennines in the Piedmont region, along the Ligurian sea, through the hilltowns of Tuscany and Umbria. They speak of a long tradition of love of the land.
A first visit to Tuscany can be daunting, even intimidating. There is so much to see, to experience, and to learn. There is too much of everything to absorb, including a multitude of museums, churches, duomos, towers, even labels of Chianti. But after a while the mind and the senses accept that no matter how many lifetimes are spent there, one cannot see it all. So we started to relax and enjoy and to look forward to new riches every day.
Like a kaleidoscope the landscape changes around each bend of the road. Each town has a distinct history and architecture, each village a different atmosphere and a different sensibility. Trying to dothis justice in photographs is perhaps as exciting and challenging today as the study of chiaroscuro was to the artists of their day, who explored the play of light and shadow long before photography was born.
Since we first visited, some things have changedpeople dress differently; cars intrude but make it possible to see more; Florence is overrun with tourists (but probably always was). There are crowds to see David by Michelangelo and to enter the Uffizi, but in the hills the olives take their time to ripen and so do the grapes, and here one can always find solitude. The old haystacks, true works of art, can still be found but are gradually giving way to more efficient methods of storing hay.
Some of our experiences will remain pictures only in our minds: the time the moon rose behind the orchestra in the courtyard of the Pitti Palace during a moving passage of music from the early Renaissance. The evening just after the sun had set in Vinci, Leonardo's birthplace, and we felt suspended in time, with the endless hills of olive trees dissolving into infinity and total silence. The uncanny feeling of being in the place in the Apuan Alps where Michelangelo so long ago chose his pieces of marble.
Then there was the time we got lost crossing the Apennines and almost wrecked our car, to be rewarded with a sea of giaggiole (irises), the symbol of Florence. Or a shared meal with friends, in their lovely Tuscan home, listening to the music of the Italian language and clinking glasses of wine grown on the hill above. And how does one capture the taste of freshly picked porcini cooked to perfection in the local olive oil?
In this part of Italy, "perspective" entered the vocabulary, and Tuscany still gives a special perspective on life. To us, one of the enduring legacies of Tuscany is the hope of becoming a Renaissance person. When the mind is challenged, and the senses are engaged, this development somehow seems possible.
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