Catholic Imagery from the Italian Alps
A set of Catholic Images taken from path side shrines and buildings in the northern Italian Alps. These are often found in dedicated stone constructions, built specifically to house frescos, statues and – more recently – photographs of significant relics such as the Turin shroud. There are also numerous painted frescos that adorn the sides of churches and houses.
It is tempting to refer to these as “icons“, but I am sternly informed that most Catholics would insist that they are not – even if the depictions and function appear very similar to genuine icons found in Greek orthodox religion.
These are so ubiquitous that after a while you cease to notice them. However, it is astonishing how much effort has been and still is being put in to their construction and maintenance.
Many of the shrines are actively maintained today – not for their history but for contemporary religious practise, as evidenced by lit candles that must be replaced every day. One hiking trail in particular had large numbers of shrines that originated in the 18th century as an appeal to god to alleviate the problems of the plague – a legacy of a past human behaviour with terrible consequences. While beautiful to look at, such culture is difficult to understand from a 21st century context.
All images shot in this sequence were shot with fast 35mm and 50mm primes, and polarising filters to bring out colour and contrast in the subjects.