Posts Tagged ‘italy’

View from the Argo

March 6th, 2011

This picture was made in Florence one glorious morning last October, as I was walking along the banks of the Argo.

More coming soon!

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World Within A World

January 27th, 2011

In the glass of one window the open window across the street is reflected. I made this picture while wandering down a small cobbled street in Florence, Italy.

More coming soon!

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Florence, a Panorama

January 20th, 2011

This is a panorama of the older part of Florence, Italy, which I find to be the most beautiful city in the world. The panorama was taken last October from the top of the Piazzale Michelangelo.

It is put together from 26 separate photos and the size of this low-resolution version is 5019×500 pixels (the high-res version weighs in at 375 megabytes with a size of 24073×4094 pixels).

Click on the thumbnail to view the full-size image.

For you Assassin’s Creed fans out there, has the old city changed much since the 15th Century?

More coming soon!

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La Figura Serpentina

November 27th, 2010

Below are photographs of aspects of the impressive sculpture which dates from 1582 and known as the “Rape of the Sabine Women”. It was sculpted by the Flemish artist Jean de Boulogne, better known by his Italianized name Giambologna.

This sculpture can be found in Florence, Italy, where, since 1583AD it has been sitting in the Loggia dei Lanzi. The Loggia sits on a corner of the Piazza della Signoria and by the Palazzo Vecchio.

For this work, Giambologna’s masterpiece, he wanted to create a composition in the form of a serpentine spiral – making it the first sculpture in European history which could be viewed from all sides with no dominant viewpoint (by comparison, take Michelangelo’s David, which dates from some 80 years earlier). This stunning piece also has another distinction: it was made from one imperfect block of white marble which is the largest block ever transported to Florence.

Later, when the Medicis decided it should be exhibited in the Loggia, it was given the name the Rape of the Sabine Women after the mythical story of the founding years of Rome, where Roman men abducted women of the Sabine peoples to take as wives. Here the English word “rape” is a translation of the Latin word “raptio”, which in this context means abduction rather than its modern meaning. For more info on that section of the legendary history of Rome which gave its name to the sculpture, click here.

On another note, check out the following:

More coming soon!

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The Ladies & the Gelato

November 23rd, 2010

I’ve been a little busy of late, and not had much time to prepare any posts. Am working towards fixing that, so please bear with me!

I made this shot in Florence, Italy, just before I headed up the hill to the Piazzale Michelangelo. These three German ladies were sitting outside a tiny gelateria, enjoying the sun and the first-class Italian gelato. I love the texture of the wall behind them.

On another note, check out the following:

More coming soon!

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Of Love and Padlocks

November 4th, 2010

On my recent trip to Florence, Italy to attend a wedding (of course) I discovered something completely new to me: love padlocks.

The custom basically has lovers affixing padlocks to railings and chain links along (generally) a pier or bridge and throwing the key into the water. This act is supposed to symbolise the unbreakable bond between the two sweethearts. Sometimes, one or other of the dewy-eyed pair will write their name(s), the date or even a small message on the padlock they affix. Or they may even paint the brass in pretty bright colours. It makes for quite a sight, these clumps of padlocks bristling like mad metal hedgehogs from the railings, or stretching out in heavy chains that look like they’ll soon collapse from the weight.

I was introduced to this curious phenomenon by a friend, with whom I took a lazy walk around the old part of town the morning after the wedding. I first spotted it by the little marvel that is the Ponte Vecchio and then again all along the Arno and on the other bridges.

It seems that the Fiorentine authorities tried to stamp out the practice back in 2006. Clearly, they failed.

A few shots below.

Shot on the wall along the Lungarno Archibustieri.

A never ending chain…

The above was shot from the Ponte Alle Grazie, with the Ponte Vecchio in the background.

On another note:

More coming soon!

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The Award

October 3rd, 2010

Hey guys! I’m back!

Well, I’ve been back home for a few days, but they’ve been rather… full … for lack of a better word, hence the prolonged absence.

Today, I’d like to share something truly very special.

That there is my father’s brand-spanking-new award.

My father has just been promoted to Commendatore (Commander) of the Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Order of Merit of the Italian Republic)! The Order of Merit is the highest ranking honour of the Italian Republic. This award was signed by Giorgio Napoletano, Italy’s current President, and countersigned by Romano Prodi.

Some years ago Italy awarded him with the Knighthood (so basically he now skipped the rank of Ufficiale and went straight to Commander). He’s also been awarded with Knighthoods of the National Orders of Merit by both the French and the Spanish.

All for civil services rendered to all three states over a highly distinguished and extraordinary career.

You can see two of the medals in the Still Life gallery on my main website, pictured together with a very old portrait of my mother.

Few people can claim to have received any of these National Orders of Merit, and fewer still can claim to have been awarded all of them. He’s a great man (and clearly that is not just my opinion). It’s refreshing when all the effort and work he’s put in over the years is recognised and appreciated.

I took this picture over the weekend, lighting the award with two studio stobes fitted with softboxes.

More coming soon (though is still likely to be somewhat erratic – bear with me)!

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