Mantova.. ed è subito sera
Let the observer not be deceived by the title of my volume, “Ed è subito sera” (“And suddenly it is evening”), which I borrow from the famous poem by Salvatore Quasimodo. Quasimodo set out to compare the evening to our solitude and the fleeting nature of life.
Turning that meaning on its head, in this volume I endeavour to show an art city full of life, captured during a “symbolic” evening, which I had the pleasure of spending with Mantua born-and-bred friends.
Mantua is a city I have visited regularly since childhood, firstly because it is not far from my native Modena and also because, of all the nearby cities, it is my favourite, not just because of its wealth of artistic attractions (let us not forget that Mantua is a UNESCO world heritage site), but also because it is unrivalled when it comes to pumpkin-filled tortelli. And so, I’ve gone there countless times simply for those!
I don’t wish to appear unrefined, but why not celebrate the “culinary art” of Mantuan chefs?
As regards my book, I wanted to ensure that it immediately reveals the same happiness I experienced while creating it. I decided to show Mantua towards evening (hence the title) and I began at Castello San Giorgio, which changes colour at sunset, with a slow transition from pink to sky and then midnight blue.
The women of Mantua, who I observed in the piazzas and under the wonderful porticoes at aperitif time, seemed to me so relaxed and fascinating, in other words so spontaneous, and all the more so because my small camera went unnoticed. No woman, in other words, “posed” for my shots.
It’s a well-known fact that I prefer to photograph women because, with make-up, various adornments, and the attention they pay to their hair, they are more striking than men and they are all beautiful.
Who is not familiar with Piazza Sordello, home to the majority of the city’s monuments and the Cathedral, Piazza delle Erbe, etc.?
But what I most love about Mantua are its porticoes. What is a city without porticoes? All life unfolds under the porticoes, not just because of the window shopping, but because for centuries people have felt protected under porticoes, enjoying the comfort of a more intimate space. I end my volume with a tribute to the charm that Mantua exudes and a tribute to life.
MARIA PIA SEVERI