Ferdinando Scianna (born 1943) is an Italian photographer. Scianna won the Prix Nadar
in 1966 and became a full member of Magnum Photos
in 1989. He has produced numerous books. Scianna took up photography while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo in the 1960s. He moved to Milan in 1966 and started working as a photographer for L'Europeo
in 1967, becoming a journalist there in 1973. Scianna wrote on politics for Le Monde
diplomatique and on literature and photography for La Quinzaine Littéraire
. He first joined Magnum Photos
in 1982, becoming a full member in 1989.
He took up fashion photography in the late 1980s. His first work, in 1987, was to photograph Marpessa Hennink for Dolce & Gabbana's advertising campaign for their Fall/Winter collection, clothing which was inspired by Sicily.
Ferdinando Scianna started taking photographs in the 1960s while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo. It was then that he began to photograph the Sicilian people systematically. Feste Religiose in Sicilia
(1965) included an essay by the Sicilian writer Leonardo Sciascia, and it was the first of many collaborations with famous writers.
Scianna moved to Milan in 1966. The following year he started working for the weekly magazine L’Europeo
, first as a photographer, then as a journalist from 1973. He also wrote on politics for Le Monde
Diplomatique and on literature and photography for La Quinzaine Littéraire
In 1977 he published Les Siciliens
in France and La Villa Dei Mostri
in Italy. During this period, Scianna met Henri Cartier-Bresson
, and in 1982 he joined Magnum Photos
. He entered the field of fashion photography in the late 1980s and at the end of the decade he published a retrospective, Le Forme del Caos
Scianna returned to exploring the meaning of religious rituals with Viaggio a Lourdes
(1995), then two years later he published a collection of images of sleepers – Dormire Forse Sognare (To Sleep, Perchance to Dream)
. His portraits of the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges were published in 1999, and in the same year, the exhibition Niños del Mundo displayed Scianna’s images of children from around the world.
In 2002 Scianna completed Quelli di Bagheria
, a book on his home town in Sicily, in which he tries to reconstruct the atmosphere of his youth through writings and photographs of Bagheria and the people who live there.
Source: Magnum Photos