Mauro Galligani

UNIONE SOVIETICA – LENINGRADO ERMITAGE, 1987

Born in the province of Siena in 1940, Galligani is one of the most important photojournalists of our post-war period. He collaborated with iconic magazines such as Epoca, the Italian version of Life Magazine. Among the many reportages around the world, he photographed the symbols of the Soviet Union, the changes and its rubble before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. With this photograph, taken in 1987 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), he takes us to the halls of the Hermitage, demonstrating his ability to narrate even in the face of simple everyday life. The image shows a little girl peacefully asleep on a sumptuous gold and red velvet sofa, a legacy of the now distant tsarist past, while another person looks away from the frame, probably attentive to the words of a guide. The little girl, oblivious to the history that surrounds her, seems to be dreaming, perhaps lost in that distant country represented in the painting above her: a Venice painted by Canaletto which, in a golden reflection of light from the hall, appears even more unreal and magical .

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