Young Women On A Hillside
I pushed my bike, Delilah, up the steep kilometre stretch. Heavy traffic flowed and some passerby’s laughed at me while I wheezed. I planned to purchase a piece of black fabric in Urbino for an upcoming photo-shoot. Luckily, it was Saturday morning and the Piazalle Di Roma was bustling with merchants. It was here I found the perfect drapery — a black pashmina with a rippling sinuous texture. Beside the market there was a large monument of Urbino’s son, the Prince of Painters. I toasted Raphael’s dark figure for good luck rolling my way to the Parco della Resistenza.
To my relief when I turned the corner the thick gauze of condensation lifted from the palazzo ducal. The tan facade of the humanistic spires and cathedral was finally unmasked in a dim soft light. The Pallazo Ducal was the house of the duke that nurtured Piero della Francesca, Raphael, Perigino, and many other Umbrian hands. It also inspired the courtly writings of Baladerse, where he was later painted by Raphael. The spectacular centre piece of this tiny hill town was one of the most notable courts of high renascence. Three young women passed over the hill and I asked them all for their photos. They asked how much and I replied “no charge.” I politely took a couple of pictures of the first two girls, one wearing
a green and blue hijab and the other wrapped in the drapery I had purchased at the market. Finally, the third girl stepped in front of the camera with a coy and pleasant smile. She was relaxed and lighthearted. As I wrapped the fabric around her tightly her demeanor transformed from meek to serious. It was so mysterious how the desired expression was reached. Every so often you will get a subject that completely understands the intention of an image. This was such a moment; it was an unspoken understanding that simply happened. I explained some of the other aspects of the shoot and she was so respectful. I positioned her in a three quarters pose so that only her top half filled the frame. This is typical of the Leonardo-esque style, adding power to the subjects gaze . These techniques heavily influenced Raphael’s evolution into the next great. The light was positioned in a way to replicate the masters of light and shadow. Her expression changed more as I climbed higher up the hill.
Leaving the three girls, I pumped my fist in the air triumphantly. After viewing a couple of the images I danced and sang. A car drove by, breaking abruptly at the foot of the hill.