The way of Pasquale De Antonis from neo-realism to fashion and cinema
26 September, 2018
The way of Pasquale De Antonis from neo-realism to fashion and cinema
Time passes, pictures stay – this phrase fits the career of the Italian photographer Pasquale De Antonis, whose career is full of glamour, art and Italian neorealism. In 1946, Italy started recovering from the destructive consequences of the WWII. People started to walk in the streets with the cameras and one of them was Pasquale De Antonis. A bit later, portraits taken by him decorated personal galleries of then celebrities like Francesco Mastroianni, Gina Lollobrigida and Anna Magnani.

Pasquale De Antonis
started his career as a photographer by taking ethnographic photos in Italy, a part where he was from – Abruzzo. He wanted to show the real Italy with its traditions and culture, against the fascist propaganda.

The way from neo-realism to fashion and cinema – son of Pasquale De Antonis, Ricardo speaks with the Georgian Journal exclusively about his father.
Fig 1

1. Pasquale De Antonis was a legendary photographer, my first question is about the beginning of his career. How did he begin?

Pasquale started shooting in the ‘30s, during and after his studies. Some very interesting examples of photos he shot in 1935 are ethnographic photos (fig.1,2). He started traveling across Abruzzo, his native region, with writers such as “Ennio Flaiano” and artists such as “Tommaso Cascella” shooting folk festivals, giving birth to ethnographic photography in Italy, as stated later by many Italian anthropologists, showing misery, arcaic cults and traditions of Italian peasants, in contrast with the fake propaganda of the fascist regime that wanted to portray Italy as a country with healthy, happy and catholic roots.
Fig 13. Marcello Mastroianni. Rome, 1950

During the same years Pasquale De Antonis showed a great attitude for shooting portraits as in (fig. 3, fig. 4). Bringing out the real nature of the human mind, seeing the expressions of the model’s personality that each of them displayed in front of the camera.

He also shot some interesting images about sports during those years as can be seen in fig.5 about motorsports and athletics.
Fig 14. Silvana Mangano, 1950

2. Pasquale De Antonis became a stage and set photographer for directors such as Luchino Visconti, Giorgio Strehler and Franco Zeffirelli and took beautiful portraits of iconic actors and actresses. Could you tell us how he met Luchino Visconti? Or Franco Zeffirelli? which legendary films making process he photographed?

Pasquale De Antonis opens his studio in Piazza di Spagna 51, Rome in 1939 buying the licence to practice the profession from a big name of Italian Futurism, Anton Giulio Bragaglia. An interesting story to testify this fact is that almost 70 years later in 2007 an amazing French gallery owner and friend of mine, Serge Plantereux, found in a French archive Anton Giulio’s letterhead with the address stating: “Piazza di Spagna 51” just like Pasquale.
Fig 2

The studio later became famous and often visited by the most influential people in cinema and theatre, among the many that came by Luchino Visconti and Franco Zeffirelli are two notable mentions that Pasquale portrayed (fig.6,7) even Rossellini started his movie “Roma Città Aperta” showing the door leading to the studio to tell a story that really happened inside that place.
Fig 20. Paolina Borghese Canova Con Pelliccia di Balani. Rome, 1948

Pasquale De Antonis also shot all the theatre shows done by Visconti in such a way that “Tennesse Williams”, after seeing the images during the premiere of “A Streetcar Named Desire”, said she had just seen the most beautiful theatre photos ever.Those shots were the result of Pasquale’s research on theatre and Visconti used to change the stage lighting to fit the vision he had with Pasquale.(fig. 8-9) All this work was displayed during two major exhibitions, one was “Festival dei Due Mondi – Omaggio a Visconti” in Spoleto, the other was hosted in Rome inside a gallery owned by Angelica the daughter of Savinio and was named “A photographer in the theatre”.
Fig 6. Luchino Visconti, Rome, 1948

3. He has photographed a lot of celebrities of fashion and cimena industry - Marcello Mastroianni, Anna Magnani, Sophia Loren and ect. Maybe he had some interesting stories about them, how did he work with different characters?

Pasquale De Antonis collaborated with many people such as Strelher and Gassman and shot actors and actresses such as Mastroianni, Massimo Girotti, Sophia Loren, Silvana Mangano, Gina Lollobrigida and Anna Magnani (fig 10-14).They were all friends at the time as can be seen in many portraits of sculptors and painters such as, Burri, Capogrossi, Calder and Afro or famous writers such as Pratolini or Alvaro and musicians such as Petrassi, Aprea and Nino Rota (fig 15-17).He was also close with Corrado Cagli and Leonardi Sinisgalli which presented two exhibitions of Pasquale’s abstract photography in 1951 and 1957, both hosted at “Galleria dell’ Obelisco” owned by Irene Brin.(fig 18-19)

4. How he met Irene Brin? Was his works with Irene Brin the new word in fashion industry?

Irene Brin, legendary art expert and high fashion journalist, was together with Pasquale when he shot inside the great monuments of Rome the birth of Italian High Fashion with designers like “Ferragamo”, “Schubert” and “Sorelle Fontana”.They were the new word in fashion as these photographs started a new way of presenting haute couture models to the world. A marvelous example is the famous “Paolina Borghese con Pelliccia” (fig 20).
Fig 7. Franco Zeffirelli, Rome, 1948

5. If Mr. Pasquale were alive today, would he like Italian designers? For example, did he like “Dolce & Gabbana”? What was his opinion about the Brand?

I’m confident saying that Pasquale always had great admiration for contemporary designers, like Dolce e Gabbana and I think I can say on his behalf that he was an estimator of Italian research in the fashion field and an experimenter of ideas that derive from the contemporary artistic language and his connection with industry.

6. How did your father’s Art influenced on your career?

As you can imagine, after 20 years of working together with Pasquale, his inputs are deeply imprinted in my work, that shares some common themes with him such as ethnograpy, with my reportages in Afghanistan during the ‘70s, and avant-garde theatre as can be seen in the book “Luce Fisicità e Spazio del teatro”.Currently with the new digital era and the help of softwares my research is going towards anamorphic utopic landscapes.
Fig 9. “A Streetcar Named Desire” Tennese Williams Visconti

Author: Nino Tsipuria

Related stories:

Other Stories
UNICEF Launches Online Consultations For Pregnant Women Concerning COVID-19
Pregnant women throughout Georgia are invited to attend free virtual sessions led by top gynecologists and have answers to their most pressing questions answered, - reads the statement by UNICEF.
UNDP - Boosting Georgia’s Public Healthcare With Digital Solutions
UNDP Georgia states that boosting the healthcare system with digital solutions in Georgia will enable thousands of medical staff to improve their skills in treating infectious diseases.
Railway Travel Has Been Resumed Today, June 15
According to a government decree, rail traffic has been resumed today, June 15.
The Second Wave Of Covid-19 is Expected In Georgia
According to Paata Imnadze, Deputy Director of the National Center for Disease Control, the second wave of coronavirus will most likely occur, and if the population does not follow the rules, it will occur sooner.
60 273 Coronavirus PCR Tests Have Been Done in Georgia So Far
The government's report about the measures taken against COVID-19 says that 60 273 coronavirus PCR testings were done on primary samples in Georgia in the period of 30 January - 3 June.
Georgia Reopens Shops and Malls
All kinds of open shops, including malls, have been opened in Georgia today.
Municipal Transport Services Resumed in Georgia
All kinds of municipal transport services – including Tbilisi Metro – have been resumed throughout Georgia today.
Municipal Transport to Reopen From May 29 in Georgia
All types of municipal transport will be reopened from May 29, Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia said at the meeting of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council on COVID-19 today.
Tourists Have to Present a Covid-19 Test Result Before Entering Georgia
According to Amiran Gamkrelidze, Head of the National Center for Disease Control, tourists will likely have to present a document while entering Georgia that they had been tested in the last 72 hours and the result was negative.
Covid-19 Restrictions Lifted In Georgia
As the epidemiological situation allows to accelerate certain situations, some restrictions have been lifted today in Georgia.
Some Covid-19 Restrictions To be Lifted In Georgia From May 18
Some of the restrictions imposed due to coronavirus spread is going to be lifted in Georgia from Monday, May 18.
The State Of Emergency Will Not Be Extended in Georgia
According to the Prime Minister, Giorgi Gakharia, the government will not address the President with a request to extend the state of emergency after May 22.
Village in Bolnisi Municipality to be Set Under Quarantine
Based on the decision made by the Interagency Coordinating Council, due to the high epidemiological risk, strict quarantine restrictions have been enacted in the village of Geta, Bolnisi Municipality, as part of the state of emergency.
Georgia to partially lift coronavirus-related restrictions on May 5
Georgia starts to partially lift some of the coronavirus related restrictions which were banned under the state of emergency.
9 patients die from COVID-19 as number of infected nears 600
The ninth patient has died of coronavirus in Georgia, who was 58-year-old in a critical condition.
Four Georgian sailors, who escaped from pirates, are safe
The Maritime Transport Agency said they are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the issue related to the abduction of Georgian sailors by pirates in Nigeria.
Georgian couple exercises acrobatic tricks in a lockdown
The worldwide lockdown has changed many lives. If before pandemic it was usual to go out in the evening with a friend, drink beer or sip coffee, pandemic has changed the way people spend time.
Will flights be safe after the pandemic? – Visualization proves opposite
Nearly all passenger flights have been grounded after the coronavirus outbreak and declaration of the worldwide pandemic.
Epidemic in Georgia is contained, top Georgian health expert says
Georgia has managed to contain the epidemic, Amiran Gamkrelidze, Head of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health said.
Georgia may be among the first countries which get remdesivir medicine
There is a hope that Georgia will be among the first countries which receive remdesivir medicine from the US, Tengiz Tsertsvadze, General Director of the Tbilisi Infectious Diseases Hospital said.
Georgia receives 40 thousand PCR tests from China
Georgia has received 40 thousand PCR tests from china, including 20 thousand antibody tests as a gift from the Chinese government, Healthcare Minister, Ekaterine Tikaradze said, who met the cargo at the airport.
COVID-19 will end in Georgia by June, study says
Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) publishes new study which forecasts possible end of the coronavirus pandemic in the world and some of the other countries, including Georgia.
Coronavirus cases reach 511 as Georgia passes peak of the spread
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has increased to 511 in Georgia.
More than 100 thousand people downloaded covonavirus tracking app in Georgia
More than 100 thousand people in Georgia have downloaded a new government smartphone application designed to aid coronavirus contact tracing efforts.
Coronavirus cases near 500 as Georgia eases restrictions
“We will have to learn to cohabit and coexist with this virus” – says Tengiz Tsertsvadze, General Director of the Tbilisi Infectious Diseases Hospital.
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange