On Agfa-Brovira matte paper, with artist's credit stamp on verso. With paper label with details on title, photographer, the photograph, film, lens and camera, which was probably for a salon entry.
Born in Teramo, Italy, on April 4, 1908, Paquale De Antonis moved with his family to Pescara in 1929. In 1933 he began attending the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, where he went to work at his father's friend's photo studio, then in 1934 he returned to Pescara and opened his own studio.
Together with painter Tommaso Cascella, De Antonis toured the Abruzzo region taking beautiful neorealist pictures. This work got him admitted to the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Centre for Experimental Cinema) in Rome, where he moved in the mid-1930s and in 1939 took over the studio that had belonged to Futurist photographer Arturo Bragaglia.
De Antonis became set photographer for directors such as Luchino Visconti, Giorgio Strehler and Franco Zeffirelli; and took portraits of iconic actors and actresses. He collaborated with Visconti from 1946 until 1965, becoming the most important Italian photographer of cinema and theater (his work was honored at the Venice Biennale).
When fashion journalist Irene Brin opened--with her husband Gaspero del Corso--the art gallery L'Obelisco (The Obelisk), De Antonis began frequenting it. The Obelisk became Rome's cultural hub where artists often met, but the gallery also turned into a set for fashion shoots taken by De Antonis. During the 1950s on, many articles by Brin published in the Italian fashion magazine Bellezza were accompanied by De Antonis' photographs.
The collaboration between Brin and De Antonis became vitally important to Italian fashion: models were photographed at Obelisk, among paintings and sculptures, or in Roman streets and parks, among ruins or inside museums. In De Antonis' pictures, outfits, accessories and the models who wore them were compared to paintings, drawings and sculptures. Creating a blend of art, fashion, cinema, theater and architectural design, De Antonis' photographs were a perfect synthesis between the glamorous excesses of fashion and Italian neorealism.
He died in Rome in 2001.
The image offered here reflects his more abstract and surreal work, which is also a part of his oeuvre. It's an exceptional modernist study with diverging lines and slanted angles.
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Medium Silver print
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1935 Print Date 1960c
Dimensions 9-1/4 x 11-9/16 in. (235 x 294 mm)
Photo Country Unknown
Contemporary Works / Vintage Works, Ltd.