Castello di Sammezzano III, Reggello

2005, Printed Later
Archival lambda color photograph

Signed, titled, dated and from edition of 5 on artist’s label on verso.

Available in 3 sizes: 100 x 120 cm. (39.4 x 47.2 in.), 120 x 150 cm. (47.2 x 59.1 in.), 180 x 225 cm. (70.9 x 88.6 in.)

Massimo Listri’s photograph of Castello di Sammezzano III in Reggello is a stunning portrayal of one of Italy’s most eclectic architectural treasures. The shot is centered in a room, looking directly down towards a set of doors on the far side, framed by brilliantly patterned and painted columns. This composition draws the viewer’s eye through the room, highlighting the intricate and vibrant Moorish-inspired designs that adorn the space.

The history of Castello di Sammezzano is as captivating as its appearance. Located in Tuscany, near Florence, the castle was originally constructed in the 17th century by Spanish nobility. However, its most significant transformation came in the 19th century under the ownership of Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona, a marquis with a passion for Orientalism and eclectic architecture.

Between 1853 and 1889, Ferdinando embarked on an ambitious project to redesign and expand the castle, turning it into a lavish showcase of Moorish Revival architecture. Influenced by his travels and studies, he incorporated an array of exotic styles and motifs, creating a unique fusion of Western and Eastern architectural elements. The castle’s interiors are a testament to this blend, featuring intricately carved woodwork, vivid tile patterns, and ornate plasterwork, all meticulously designed to evoke the grandeur of Moorish palaces.

Listri’s photograph expertly captures the essence of Ferdinando’s vision. The room’s columns, adorned with colorful geometric patterns and detailed carvings, stand as pillars of artistic expression. The symmetrical arrangement of the shot enhances the sense of order and beauty, while the natural light filtering through the room illuminates the vivid colors and intricate designs, bringing them to life.

The doors at the end of the room, framed by the columns, create a focal point that invites the viewer to imagine stepping through them into another equally magnificent space. This perspective not only highlights the grandeur of the room but also hints at the endless discoveries that await within the castle’s numerous rooms and hallways.

Throughout its history, Castello di Sammezzano has experienced periods of neglect and restoration. Despite these challenges, it remains a symbol of artistic and cultural fusion, reflecting the diverse influences that shaped its creation. The castle is currently the subject of ongoing preservation efforts, as it continues to attract attention for its architectural significance and historical value.

Massimo Listri’s photograph of Castello di Sammezzano III is a masterful depiction of this architectural marvel. His use of perspective, light, and composition not only captures the beauty of the room but also conveys the rich history and artistic vision behind the castle’s creation. Through his lens, Listri offers a window into the past, allowing viewers to appreciate the intricate craftsmanship and cultural heritage embodied in Castello di Sammezzano.