by Sandro Pintus
"The Shadows of Volterra"
presentation Antonio Paolucci,
Soprintendente ai Beni Artistici e Storici of Firenze
photographs by Franco Bellato.
Text in English and Italian
160 pagg. 110 b/w photographs
Octavo - Franco Cantini Editore
Volterra, ancient Etruscan city
What to see
|"This book is first of all a token of my esteemfor Volterra," explains Franco Bellato, psychiatrist and photographer, in theintroduction to his book, "Ombre di Volterra," (The Shadows of Volterra) and thepictures show this as it guides the reader-visitor through a city full oftreasures. An excellently made book, published by Octavo - Franco Cantini. |
Itis not a tourist guide but rather, a journey along an itinerary marked out byBellato in the images of a city full of history, art and sentiment. Taken in twoperiods, between 1977 and 1980 and between 1990 and 1993, the pictures enter theheart of Volterra's ancient soul, revealing the mysteries behind its nuances,often with a touch of melancholy.
The photographs, all in black and white,create an ancient atmosphere in which the author expresses himself but at thesame time brings out the history and magic of the place, only rarely portrayingpeople. Thus through centuries of history, the visitor to the book discovers themysterious atmosphere of Etruscan and Roman memory, marvels at medieval andRenaissance art and through the shades of grey that accompany the images, findshimself in a mysterious world that lies somewhere between dream and fable.
Thecontrast between the cathedral's black and white stripes and the grandeur of theMaschio seen from a green park; the narrow streets of the medieval city under awinter rain and the imposing mass of Palazzo dei Priori; the mysterious, magicalimage of the "Ombra della Sera" and the frescoes in the Croce di Giorno Chapel;the "Balze" (cliffs) and hills.