In 1901, Vittorio Alinari, head of Fratelli Alinari, the world’s oldest photographic firm, decided to publish a new illustrated edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
To do so, Alinari announced a competition for Italian artists: each competitor had to send illustrations of at least two cantos of the epic poem, which would result in one winner and a public exhibition of the drawings.
Among the competitors were Alberto Zardo, Armando Spadini, Ernesto Bellandi, and Alberto Martini.
While Martini did not win the competition, he, as Vittorio Sgarbi wrote in his foreword to Martini’s La Divina Commedia, “seemed born to illustrate the Divine Comedy.”
The 1901 contest was followed by two more sets of illustrations between 1922 and 1944, which produced altogether almost 300 works in a wide range of styles, including pencil and ink to the watercolor tables painted between 1943 and 1944.
While repeatedly rejected publication during his lifetime, a comprehensive edition of Martini’s La Divinia Commedia is available today.
In this lovely capture by Luca Casartelli, we see Isola San Giulio (or San Giulio Island) on Lake Orta, in the region of Piedmont in northwestern Italy.
The island measures 275 metres (902 feet) long by 140 metres (459 feet) wide.
The most famous building on the island is the Basilica of Saint Giulio, close to which you can see the monumental old Seminary (1840s).
The little island, just west of the lakeshore village of Orta San Giulio, has very picturesque buildings, and takes its name from a local patron saint (Julius of Novara), who lived in the second half of the 4th century.
Luca Casartelli on 500px
In a world of celebrity injunctions and increasingly strict privacy laws, it can be difficult for street photographers to assert their creativity, argues Diego Bardone.
Based in Milan, the 52-year-old has been documenting his home city for the past nine years.
For his recent project, “Faceless: An Ode to Privacy Laws”, Bardone built up a series of candid shots of strangers – their identities obscured – making for a poignant yet playful reflection on human identity.
“Mine is a daily diary,” he says, “a tribute to those often unaware actors whom I have the good fortune to meet during my lonely walks in Milan.”
“It’s like I see myself in a sort of virtual mirror:
I’m every single one of them, they are my wandering cheerfulness becoming photography.”
The International Highline Meeting in Monte Piana, near Misurina, Italy. Balazs Mohai/epa/Corbis
Festival goers talk about the emotional comedown after tent and wellies are packed away for another year, but at the Highline festival in the Italian Dolomites, it’s a more physical thing.
The festival celebrates the extreme sport of slacklining (not to be confused with tightrope-walking) and attendees (slackers) spend their time living – and sleeping – on ropes slung hundreds of metres up in the air.
More trivial pursuits include yoga, music jams and film screenings. It’s held in September.
The Year was 1968. I was completing my composing apprenticeship with the Griffin Press, Marion Road, Netley.
My foreman was Alf Freeman, a bald Englishman who had come from England to originally work at the Government Printing Office.
Alf had left after a couple of years for the Griffin.
There I met Nick Penn, Colin Rawlings, Rod Baker, Ted Powell, Ken Simpson, Doug Long and Norm Morcombe all who went on to work at the Old Guv from the 1970s onwards.
However, the point of this tale is to get you to look at the above typecasting machine, the Nebitype.
It was made by the Nebiolo Company of Italy. The Nebitype was a line casting typesetter that spewed a single lead printing slug around 40 picas in length.
It was vaguely similar to the Ludlow Typesetter.
But there the similarity ended, unlike the Nebitype the Ludlow was a very reliable American typesetting machine.
But there was a problem with the Nebitype during its casting cycle and I suspected there was something up when the tradesmen refused to work it.
It was left up to the apprentices, especially the new ones, like me!
The Nebitype had a mind of its own and would often spray molten lead into the air.
Luckily, there was a comp. called Ken Costello (a ballroom dancing champion) who showed me the Nebitype survival plan.
You would place the setting stick in the jaws of the machine and then everyone would scatter.
Ken Costello had a rope tied to the casting handle and the other apprentices would hide behind a typesetting frame for safety.