Director's Notes

On location in Rome.
Duilio Ringressi Director of Photography and Stephen Smith Director.

For the years we were working in Florence and immersed in Annigoni's world, it became hard to imagine that "abstract" or modern painting ever existed.

We were surrounded by the last faithful students of Annigoni and it was like stepping back in time. The old artist's most of whom work in studios that have been artist studios since the 1700's, continue to carry on in the ancient "workshop" tradition. They pass down their knowledge to a younger generation of painters. Today these artists not only survive but prosper as portrait painters in perhaps the only city in the world where this is still possible.

Many contemporary Florentine artists continue to be stifled or overwhelmed by the weight of Florence's history. But for Annigoni and his followers this is their inspiration. To quote from the Maestro, "It is the duty of every artist to strive to say something new with an old language"

As the pendulum of art criticism swings back, the importance of narrative and figurative painting once again asserts itself. And with each passing year the legend of Annigoni grows.

Our hope is that this film, Annigoni: Portrait of an Artist will renew interest in the work and ideas of this great artist.

Stephen Smith

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