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Mario Giacomelli photographed his native region of the Marches of Italy, with a distinctive style that reflected the sunshine of the Adriatic coast and the challenges of life in the impoverished land. In 1957 Giacomelli visited Scanno, a rocky hilltown in central Italy noted for its tiered, cobbled streets. He recognized the familiar pace of the traditional rural life, slowly progressing as it had for centuries. One morning after Mass, he captured this image of a young boy emerging from the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua. The child’s face stands in focus, while the surroundings are softly blurred. Looking into the camera, he appears static as the surroundings seem slowly to shift. Around him—both in the foreground and in the receding distance—are elderly ladies in widow’s black. Young and old seem oblivious to each other, incapable of sharing their presumed vigor or acquired wisdom.
from Touchstones of the Twentieth Century: A History of Photography at the University of Notre Dame (exhibition, 2020-21)