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BERNHARD HARTMANN

ALHAMBRA GENERALIFE 2

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About the artwork

While the subjects of his photographs are usually theatres and opera houses captured in various regions of Germany, in this series Bernhard Hartmann departs from munificent interiors devoid of spectators to reveal a world of open skies. This melancholic image once again stems from his frenetic, quasi-obsessional, and poetic search, as he immortalises abandoned sites in the course of his travels. This photograph was taken in October 2018 in the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Andalusia, a site built by Moor architects and listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The gardens surrounding it are called "Generalife" meaning Jannat al-Arif in Arabic: "Heaven" or "the garden of the architect" and express the mode of spiritual thought of Islamic Arab aristocrats: a sweet, pleasant life among gardens evoking the Muslim heaven.

The artist

Born in Frankfurt in 1955, Bernhard Hartmann began his artistic career at the age of 18 as a press photographer for a German newspaper. Self-taught, he studied art and became a landscape photographer after discovering this medium with the aid of his parents' Polaroid. He creates dramatic and cinemascopic images that are often compared to the Romantic paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, but also to the dramatic natural scenes by English painter William Turner. He prefers to photograph places where the arts are practised and expressed and thus presents series on operas, theatres, or European manors. A lawyer in Munich, Bernard Hartmann now lives near Lake Starnberg in the Bavarian Alps. His works belong to numerous private collections and have been shown in the United States, Spain, Italy, and Germany. He was elected "Photographer of the Year" by a Swiss magazine and won the "American Black and White Photo Awards" as well as the "Panoramic Epson Award".  ... See more See less

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I love what is beautiful. The serenity of a beautiful garden and the grave of an architectural monument must provoke the same emotion for the viewer. They must be enchanted through their emotions.

BERNHARD HARTMANN

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