Pietro Donzelli



Pietro Donzelli







25.März- 2.Juli 2017


Land ohne Schatten ist eine fotografische Arbeit,

die Pietro Donzelli (1915-1998) der Landschaft und der

Bevölkerung des Podeltas widmet. Es ist eine umfangreiche

fotografische Erzählung, die im Zeitraum von 8 Jahren –

zwischen 1953 und 1961 – entsteht. Die Region ist geprägt

durch das Aufeinandertreffen von Wassermassen

aus Fluss und Meer in einer weiten Ebene und dem

damit verbundenen Kampf der Menschen mit diesen

Naturgewalten. Für Pietro Donzelli wird diese Landschaft

zu seiner Wahlheimat und zum zentralen Gegenstand

seiner künstlerischen Auseinandersetzung.




Presse  (Süddeutsche Zeitung: Thomas Steinfeld,

Ohne Halt und Auskommen, 7.4.2017)


Presse  (Corriere della Sera : Arturo Carlo Quintavalle,

Dall`acqua emerse il Polesine, 16.4.2017)







Einblick in die Ausstellung /Impressions of the exhibition

Pietro Donzelli,Palazzo Roverella, Rovigo/Veneto

Videoproduktion: Robert Becker, Dreieich bei Frankfurt/M.


Silvana Editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, 2017,(italian / english, pp.208)

Terra senz’ombra (Land without Shadow) is the title of Pietro Donzelli’s vast narrative on the Po delta composed over the eight years from 1953 to 1961. It is in that land of plain, sea, river and struggle against the violence of nature that the great photographer found his spiritual home and the true foundation of his art. A Milanese, he encountered the delta dramatically in April 1945, when the war was ending and the Germans were in retreat. As a soldier, he lived through what we see in Rossellini’s film Paisà. In 1953, two years after the terrible floods, he decided to return there and start taking photographs. He saw the delta as a land of suffering and was perhaps reminded of the dust-filled rural areas of the USA photographed by the Farm Security Administration team and recounted by Steinbeck and John Ford, artists he loved. He thus returned repeatedly, gathered documentation and created Terra senz’ombra as an authentic investigation and a narrative note based on spatiotemporal continuity but developing as a free arrangement of the materials collected. He photographed the landscape, the farm workers, the fishermen, the aftermath of the flood and the moments of relaxation with a documentary method midway between topography and sociology. There is a constant relationship between man and landscape, as in the Neorealist films of the period. Many films were shot on the Po delta, an ideal setting for the dramatic existential experiences of characters in search of themselves, like Visconti’s Ossessione, Rossellini’s Paisà, Caccia tragica by Giuseppe De Santis, Soldati’s La donna del fiume,

Alberto Lattuada’s Il mulino del Po (based on the novel by Riccardo Bacchelli, adapted for television with Sandro Bolchi) and Antonioni’s Il grido.


Then there are also documentaries like Antonioni’s Gente del Po, Renzi’s Quando il Po è dolce and Vancini’s Delta padano, Tre canne un soldo, Una capanna sulla sabbia, Dove il Po scende, Palude operosa and Traghetti alla foce. Donzelli knew these Italian films as well as Duvivier’s Il ritorno di Don Camillo. He also studied the writers who took the Po as a setting for their stories, like Pavese, Bassani, Bacchelli, Guareschi, Zavattini, Sereni, Villani, Cibotto, Bevilacqua, Castellaneta, Piovene, Rea, Carlo Levi, Soldati, Calvino, Arpino, Gadda, Montaldi, Lalla Romano, Renata Viganò and Celati. Donzelli discovered Gino Piva’s Cante d’Ádese e Po in 1956. Feeling that he had found a kindred spirit, he decided to combine some of his photographs with lines from the great poet’s work in a fascinating dialogue of words and images.


All the photographs on show are analogical gelatin silver prints.

The prints are vintage in the sense that they date from the period when the photographs were taken.

Those indicated as modern were instead printed subsequently as from the middle-1990s.

For all the photographs on show: © Estate Pietro Donzelli, Renate Siebenhaar, Frankfurt am Main


Pietro Donzelli

Luce. Fotografien


25. März bis 14. Juni 2015 / Opelvillen, Rüsselsheim



Zum 100. Geburtstag von Pietro Donzelli wird sein Werk umfangreich vorgestellt. Seine wichtigsten Arbeiten entstanden in den 1950er- und 1960er-Jahren, als der italienische Neorealismus neue Ausdrucksformen in Kunst, Film und Fotografie entwickelte. Donzellis Augenmerk galt immer jenen Momenten, in denen sich das Lebensgefühl der Menschen ausdrückt, und jenen Stimmungen, in denen das Wesen der italienischen Landschaft sichtbar wird. Sein Hauptverbündeter war dabei das Licht.







HR, hauptsache kultur: Pietro Donzelli, Jenseits von Rimini

Erstsendung 09.04.2015, Autor: Stefanie Appel