Charles H. Cecil is an American painter and art historian who has lived and worked in Florence since 1978. His studio in the San Frediano section of Florence, Italy bears his name, and is the oldest atelier in use in the city. I was sent there to shoot a story on how to learn to draw in Florence for an editorial client, and was excited to discover that the space was so beautiful. Mr. Cecil, who rents the building from an old Florentine family, was a passionate guide as he showed me all the different rooms dedicated to figure painting, landscapes, and portraiture. The rooms all featured natural daylight and all the trappings of a working artists’ realm. Innumerable completed works were on display; I quickly recognized how such a setting would produce rich photographs comparable in feel to many of Mr. Cecil’s own paintings. Shooting artists, as I did here, was a seamless process; they were generous with their time, and were pleased to be a part of my story.
Florence is of course a profoundly artistic city. It is a rich, sensual place due to its astonishing history and culture which offers an incredible patrimony of beauty to the world. It is also a place I know well; a place in which I have lived.
I am posting a few photos here that convey a general sense of the city. For some reason Florence has been on my mind this weekend. I particularly enjoy shooting the urban landscapes at night, but the light in Florence especially late afternoon makes shooting portraits and still lifes here, an incredibly easy task.
Half the equation of any successful photograph is undoubtedly beautiful light.