Archival Prints on Canvas of Florence, Italy

My Forty Year Love Affair with Florence

Lena S. Keslin ~ Artist Statement

Lena S. Keslin, Fine Art Photography and Archival Pigment Prints on Canvas

This collection of photographs is a culmination of my 40-plus year love affair with Florence. I first arrived here in 1973 from New York City after graduating from Parsons School of Design to continue my studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti. In 1978, I taught photography at the Fortman Studio, a Fine Arts school.

Florence has always been an inspiration for me. Early on, I studied the Renaissance and was fascinated by the Medici and their artistic patronage. I became familiar with all of the churches and museums, and the wondrous masterpieces that resided in them. I scoured every corner of the Boboli Gardens, traversed every street, savored the stories of the older generations. I photographed them all, until I moved back to NYC in 1980.

For this show, I have chosen 25 images to share with you. Photograph #18 is titled “The Red Curtained Room of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.”  Browning is a famous English poet of Victorian times who loved Florence and lived here from 1846 in her Casa Guidi until her death in 1861. Other photographs include Dante Alighieri at night; a close-up detail of the Duomo; an elegant Renaissance bathtub; and the statue La Primavera, whose beautiful head was lost in the bombings of WWII and wasn’t found and re-attached until 1961.

Like Dante and Beatrice, mine, too, is an enduring love story, however with a city – not just any city, but, “La città più bella del mondo,” the most beautiful city in the world. I have been able to observe its changes throughout the decades. Some things remain the same, the colors, the light, the archways, the majestic architecture and sculptures left by the giants of Western art.

I have been fortunate to share this Florentine passion with my husband Michael. We have produced these photographs together – he makes my images a reality by printing them so beautifully. I use the camera to express the visions of my soul – it becomes an extension of my inner world. The photographs tell my story and share a glimpse into that which has captured my imagination. I hope that they speak to you as well.

Although I have traveled to many destinations, Florence continues to hold a very special place in my heart and soul. Though I am awed by the beauty of Paris, the ancient history of Jerusalem, the physical magnitude of Petra, and the energy of Buenos Aires... I always return to Florence.

I now live in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico, yet my heart continues to reside in Florence.

To contact Lena, or for inquiries regarding her archival pigment prints on canvas, please email her.


~  Lena S. Keslin • Fine Art Photography • Archival prints on canvas  •  contact ~