Category Archive 'Aristocracy'

07 Oct 2012

The Elegaic Interiors of Massimo Listri

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2008, Room with painted mural from Palazzo Martelli, Florence (photo © Massimo Listri)

I came across a spectacular Daily Mail feature on the interior photography of Massimo Listri.

I had not previously heard of the remarkable work of Listri, but I was thoroughly impressed at both the technical quality and the aesthetic sensibility of this extraordinary artist’s work.

Listri’s photography of historic and aristocratic interiors has attracted extravagant, and entirely justified, praise.

“Loosing oneself in Massimo Listri’s images, strong oneiric webs entwine themselves in one’s thoughts. Mainly they are dreams, dreams which in any case, contrary to what happens normally when we realise to be dreaming, are inexpungeable from our minds forevermore…” — Cesare Cunaccia


The central and frontal perspective of his photos involves the spectator in the silence of the rooms, in the magnificence of the constructions bringing to memory known spaces but ever visited in reality. Listri’s photographs, examples of technical perfection and formal rigor, testify his own personal aspiration to capture and to exalt the beauty, even where it doesn’t apparently seem to be present, and the desire to understand and to disclose the secrets of each human creation.


What makes his work unique is how he has made interiors look so absolutely vivid, as if they had a secret life of their own that only he knows how to portray. Listri has the extraordinary ability to capture all the small details that make the difference and reveal all the stories that remain hidden behind the surface. When asked about his distinctive approach, he reveals: ”It is purely a question of sensibility. The secret is in the light which highlights the details. That’s why I definitely prefer to use natural light when possible”. Listri’s photos transmit an almost deafening silence, as if time had stopped and humans had suddenly disappeared and the only thing reminiscent of them are the interiors they’ve left behind, the remains of their lives and their passions, their art and their culture. –Apostolos Mitsios


The Daily Mail feature seems to have been drawn from a tribute to Listri published in Yatzer last May.


Apparently, it is possible to purchase copies of Listri’s photographs which are published in very small editions (of 4 or 5) by Maison d’Art/Piero Corsini Inc. in Monaco.


Massimo Listri’s web-site.


Past exhibitions.

10 Mar 2006

Slade Search on NBC Today Program

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Sir Benjamin Slade’s Trans-Atlantic DNA search for an heir to Mausell House made NBC’s Today program. The baronet was interviewed by host Katie Couric. No drug addicts, no alcoholics. Their habits are too expensive… No gays either. They can’t produce an heir. And no leftwing democrats or Communists… They might give the place away or do something silly… need apply.



earlier posting

27 Feb 2006

San Francisco Builder is Pretender to Irish Dukedom

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Paul Fitgerald, a San Francisco construction manager, claims that he is the descendant of an heir believed killed in the trenches in WWI, but who actually emigrated to North America. If he is able to establish his claim Paul Fitzgerald would become 9th Duke of Leinster, and first peer of Ireland.

21 Dec 2005

Baronet Turns to DNA Testing (and Television) to Find Heir

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An English Baronet, lacking an heir, is resorting to DNA testing of Americans of the same name to locate a suitable male relative to take up the burden of maintaining the estate. This interesting exercise in genealogy will by covered by the Discovery Channel in a program currently, misleadingly, titled I’m Really a Royal.

The ad would read: Free to one lucky American named Slade, a 16-room English mansion surrounded by 1,300 acres of prime land in southwestern England. But be prepared to work for it.

Baronet Sir Benjamin Slade, 59, has no heir, but is desperate to pass his ancestral home, Maunsel Home — now a busy entertainment venue — to someone in the family.

So he has given a DNA sample to a team of genealogists, who will search for the closest match among Americans called Slade; some 5,000 are estimated to live in North Carolina alone.

“Running Maunsel House is a young person’s thing and I’m tired of it,” Slade told The Associated Press Wednesday. “I spoke to my 14th cousin in England, but he has a nice house of his own and he doesn’t want to move.”

The lucky man — Slade insists his heir must be male — will inherit the stately home near Taunton in southwest England, which dates in part from the 13th century and boasts a library, a dining room for 80 guests and a staff of five.

Maunsell House

Maunsell House

Slade Surname Genealogy Project

Slade Surname Genealogy Project Current Results


Sir Benjamin appears on television to discuss the search.

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