Lorenzo Poccianti – Historical Portraits

Born in Florence into a family of traditions, Lorenzo Poccianti was raised in a society steeped in history. One notable ancestor, Pasquale Poccianti (1774-1858), first Architect of the Granducal Court of Tuscany, is seen as the promoter of Neoclassical style in Italy.

Lorenzo went  to University of Architecture  in Florence to follow his ancestor’s path but  soon moved  to London to study his major interest, photography and design at the London College of Printing & Distributives Trades. He Also assisted and worked  as a photographer  in London Milan and NewYork,  before perfecting a ground breaking photographic technique involving camera, computer  and canvas. Poccianti’s photographic innovation is the product of his historical legacy and his modern sensibility. Fusing Old Master aesthetic idealism with Computer Age technological perfection, he places his contemporary sitter in an historical backdrop with uncanny ease.

The project begun with Poccianti photographing the scions of Florentine patrician families, styling and posing them in the guise of their notable ancestors as seen in portrait painted by Leonardo da Vinci,Raphael and Bronzino. His first show in Florence was an acclaimed success with the public and the press. Poccianti has since expanded upon this theme, casting his subjects in an historical portrait suitable to their physiognomy or personality.

His New York Exhibitions at L’Antiquaire & the Connoisseur Inc. and later for Baccarat sponsored by the Versailles Foundation has been the perfect introduction to that elusive socialite world and sees personalities such as the designer Carolina Herrera, the fashion icon Nan Kempner, the top model Erin O’Connor or the Earl Rufus Albemarle being portrayed in the style of Boucher, Van Dyck, Klimt or Durer.. the New York Times quoted: ”a Poccianti portrait slides down easily, an effect more Warholian then Old Masterly, with more wit then gravitas”.

His solo exhibition in London at the Accademia Italiana featured Icons such as the model socialite Marie Helvin in the guise of an Odalisque, the fashion designer Rifat Ozbek as an Ottoman Sultan and many more. Recent work also include still life as well as child portraiture inspired and revisited  with a more contemporary  approach.

The published project done in collaboration with the magazine Velvet (Repubblica) is a series of table settings inspired by Flemish still life but inserting objects of contemporary design with  a careful and detailed research. His last show closes a circle as it has been produced in his native town of Florence featuring mainly watercolor style portraits of children inspired by the ‘Royal family painter’ Alejo Vidal-Quadras.

Poccianti is working on several new projects and exhibits, in collaboration with major fashion Groups, always keeping his approach  of mixing old and new.

In an age when the classical form of portraiture has waned as a means of artistic expression and when painting has been challenged by digital imaging, Poccianti’s historicizing work offer the modern patron a chance to capture the physical attributes of their present with the spirit of their past, real or imagined.