“Family Histories” is a series of portraits of my family members that reflects a personal interest in Renaissance and Baroque art.
Subjects are represented using lighting techniques that recall the use of chiaroscuro in paintings, and pose holding an object: objects are often present in Renaissance and Baroque portraiture to add a metaphorical meaning.
My subjects posed with an object found in our home, linking the intimate history of a family and its day to day life to a broader concept of History and Art.
For example “Brother” is inspired by Giorgione’s melancholic “Double Portrait” which is on display at Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Venezia in Rome; my brother had been in a fight and he had a black eye, therefore I portrayed him with an orange, that was sometimes used in paintings to represent the pain suffered by Christ.
“Grandma” is a portrait of my grandmother inspired by “Portrait of a Seated Woman with an Handkerchief” by Carel Fabritious (previously attributed to Rembrandt).
All images © Paola Leonardi
By Paola Leonardi