“Photography likes sculpture. It likes to see how things look from different angles, especially things that don’t move. It likes light falling on surfaces and the way the two become one in the picture. . . . Above all, it likes the way photography, which makes living figures still, awakens figures frozen in stone.” – From the Introduction by Peter Galassi.
The Staglieno cemetery near Genoa was created in the 19th century. It is home not only to those whose bones lie buried beneath, but also to the splendidly ornate display of sculptures erected in their memory. Carved from inanimate lumps of stone, these memorials have become more than the monumental tributes they were originally commissioned to be. Now feathered with a gentle coat of dust, each appears to have taken on a life of its own and out of the melancholy of death comes the comforting notion of a presence that will remain. This series of photographs by the inestimable Lee Friedlander will certainly delight with its beauty; it may also surprise with its warmth, and its sense of immortality. Superbly printed in duotone on matte art paper, and bound in rich velvet, Staglieno is published in an edition of 2,000 copies. Introduction by Peter Galassi, Chief Curator, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.