Castello di Sammezzano IV

2015, Printed 2018
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 IV captures a stunning view into a room with white walls adorned with intricate carvings and a floor laid with blue, black, and tan mosaic tiles. The image showcases the architectural elegance and detailed craftsmanship that define this unique Tuscan castle.

Castello di Sammezzano, located in Reggello near Florence, has a rich history dating back to the 17th century when it was built by Spanish nobility. Its most remarkable transformation occurred in the 19th century under the guidance of Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona. Ferdinando, a marquis with a deep appreciation for Orientalist and eclectic architectural styles, undertook an ambitious renovation project between 1853 and 1889, turning the castle into a masterpiece of Moorish Revival architecture.

The photograph highlights the room’s white walls, which are intricately carved with delicate and ornate patterns. These carvings draw inspiration from a variety of cultural and historical motifs, reflecting Ferdinando’s fascination with blending Western and Eastern design elements. The precision and artistry of the carvings create a sense of opulence and sophistication, making the room a visual feast.

The floor, covered in blue, black, and tan mosaic tiles, adds another layer of complexity and beauty to the scene. The geometric patterns and vibrant colors of the tiles complement the intricate wall carvings, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the room. This mosaic work is a testament to the detailed and labor-intensive craftsmanship that went into every aspect of the castle’s design.

Listri’s photograph captures the architectural elements in the carvings and doorframes, which are particularly striking. The doorframes, with their elaborate designs, serve as both functional and decorative elements, framing the view into the next room and inviting the viewer to explore further. The interplay of light and shadow in the image accentuates the depth and texture of the carvings, bringing out the intricate details that might otherwise be overlooked.

The historical significance of Castello di Sammezzano lies not only in its architectural splendor but also in its embodiment of cultural synthesis. Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona’s vision was to create a space that celebrated a blend of architectural styles and cultural influences, resulting in a uniquely eclectic and harmonious structure. Despite periods of neglect, the castle remains a symbol of artistic and cultural fusion, attracting attention for its preservation and restoration efforts.

Through his lens, Massimo Listri has captured the essence of Castello di Sammezzano’s architectural and historical significance. His photograph of the white-walled room with its intricate carvings and mosaic-tiled floor allows viewers to appreciate the castle’s detailed craftsmanship and the artistic vision that shaped its creation. Listri’s skillful use of composition, light, and perspective not only highlights the room’s beauty but also invites the viewer to delve into the rich cultural heritage and architectural legacy of Castello di Sammezzano.