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  1. #11

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    I have been familar with this photo for a long time. I like it.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  2. #12
    Will S's Avatar
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    If you watch the Strand movie they talk about the project that this picture was a part of. All of these brothers served in the Italian resistance during WWII. The father was killed I think. They are all surrounding their mother whose positioning in the doorway and the darkness serves to link her to each of them compositionally. Great picture. Strand's wife talks about how horribly unpicturesque the town was. He and the Italian that he was working with (director of the Bicycle Thief I think) decided on this village by randomly sitcking pins in a map. This town was the third they hit, and happened to be the hometown of the director.

    Best,

    Will
    "I am an anarchist." - HCB
    "I wanna be anarchist." - JR

  3. #13
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    I liked the comparisons b/w the archways of the front and back doors.

    As to the poses etc. - I get the impression that P.S. is kind of "mocking" Evans with this pic and showing scant poor white folk exist everywhere (or at least they did in Italy in the 1950's).

    This was the same era as the early post-war Italian movies like "The Bicycle Thief". Oh that waif-like Sophia Loren....

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will S View Post
    If you watch the Strand movie they talk about the project that this picture was a part of. All of these brothers served in the Italian resistance during WWII. The father was killed I think. They are all surrounding their mother whose positioning in the doorway and the darkness serves to link her to each of them compositionally. Great picture. Strand's wife talks about how horribly unpicturesque the town was. He and the Italian that he was working with (director of the Bicycle Thief I think) decided on this village by randomly sitcking pins in a map. This town was the third they hit, and happened to be the hometown of the director.

    Best,

    Will
    Add on:

    I hadn't seen this post before my above comment.

    One of the things I was wondering is - where is the Father?

    Will's historical notes explain that.

    And "The Bicycle Thief" motif is so evident....

  5. #15

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    The composition that Strand chose is an excellent example of radial balance in a photograph.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  6. #16
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    Donald... fill me in...
    You see radial balance?
    I don't...
    To me, the balance comes from the cluster of heavier elements near the center left of the image, vs the lone man and bike at the far right...
    What brings balance being the weight of the black square framing the old lady, and that the guys near her are also nearer the center of the pic... leveraging the lone man, far right....

    I'd think of Mandalas, bicycle wheels, sunflowers... etc as radially balanced...
    Where the elements are arranged around a central AXIS. . ..
    Can you enlighten me as to how you see it arranged here?

  7. #17
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    You guys are well beyond me.

    But I am struck by the relationship of the front wheel of the bicycle - with a very small partial of the rear wheel to the radials above the front door and rear.

    BTW, on the left, alongside the one fellows head there is an "artifact" growing...

    Oh, I do not see this as a "centered" shot.

    I wonder what the fellow next to the bike and the fellow seated on the left side are looking at? The others are looking at P.S.

  8. #18
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    I saw a vintage print of this in a New York gallery a few years ago and it was incredibly powerful and moving. Online and even good book reproductions do not do it justice (like most photographs).

    As I recall, I could have traded my house for it with enough leftover for a nice frame!

  9. #19
    Pastiche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Egan View Post
    I saw a vintage print of this in a New York gallery a few years ago and it was incredibly powerful and moving. Online and even good book reproductions do not do it justice (like most photographs).

    As I recall, I could have traded my house for it with enough leftover for a nice frame!
    Please forgive my tiny little gloat - I'm in Tucson, and work at the University of Arizona.. which houses the CCP
    http://dizzy.library.arizona.edu/bra...p/ccphome.html
    Where there is some of Strand's work (814 prints to be exact) . . and which I've gotten to see some just by accident... they have free print viewing sessions during the weekday afternoons, and twice a week I have classes that end just as the print viewing hours begin.. so I just drop in to see what's what..
    Last week someone had asked for one box each of Stieglitz, Strand, and Sullivan...

    Which is to say - indeed, the originals DO knock your pants off... no matter what we might not "fell" from this reproduction...
    Last edited by Pastiche; 10-09-2006 at 01:45 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: adding some info 'bout CCP

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Will S View Post
    If you watch the Strand movie they talk about the project that this picture was a part of. All of these brothers served in the Italian resistance during WWII. The father was killed I think. They are all surrounding their mother whose positioning in the doorway and the darkness serves to link her to each of them compositionally. Great picture. Strand's wife talks about how horribly unpicturesque the town was. He and the Italian that he was working with (director of the Bicycle Thief I think) decided on this village by randomly sitcking pins in a map. This town was the third they hit, and happened to be the hometown of the director.

    Best,

    Will
    In Paul Strand / Cesare Zavattini's book : "UN PAESE - Portrait of an Italian Village", Aperture, one not only finds this photo ( plus many others). It is also accompanied by the mother's statement that provides additional iconographic background.
    A great book revealing the strength and dignity of humble people (- if that's the wright word).

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