CLIFFORD IN SPAIN: A PHOTOGRAPHER IN THE COURT OF ISABEL IIº

Published : 05/19/2019 21:14:25
Categories : PHOTOGRAPHY XIX

When talking about CHARLES CLIFFORD's style, serious considerations should be included about the methods and procedures, the technique and the apparatuses, the finishing and, frequently, the theme, all of which factors are not necessarily linked to any specific country. Surely these factors are what we computed in the blink of an eye when commenting that a certain photograph is "a Clifford".

Its primordial message concerns the discovery of exotic wonders, the essentials of a romantic Spain. CLIFFORD turns a corner and comes face to face with the imposing sign of a glorious past, of a past that must be preserved at all costs, not only because of its greatness but also because it is imbricated in the heart of present-day Spain. CLIFFORD had this photographic experience in Segovia (F-157 of our catalog) in relatively early date, but would have it in other places (F-156, F-149 of our catalog) for almost ten more years. In the humble everyday Spain CLIFFORD would discover, when turning any corner, magnificent things that would leave him astonished ... Moments in which the discovery and the immediate recognition of the importance of the discovered occurred simultaneously.

F-156 Toledo 1858F-149 SALAMANCA 1858

And that - that ability to recognize in an instant the historical and future importance of what has been discovered is a factor that I consider perceptible in many works of CHARLES CLIFFORD.

In the case of Zaragoza ... (in) the "HOUSE KNOWN WITH THE NAME OF THE INFANTES" (F-155 of our catalog), the frieze of whose interior patio was photographed in three parts by CLIFFORD surely as an experiment to obtain a "Panorama" circular ... These images are, of course, among the strangest, with improvised covered windows and bas-relief figures apparently "decapitated" by the hanging curtains. Its mysterious effect is at the height of the sense of detachment produced by some of the ephemeral constructions that were erected in Zaragoza.

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