Levitation of the Infanta
47 / 50 by Alberto Schommer, 2001
Alberto Schommer’s connection with photography comes from the cradle. His father, Albrecht Schommer Koch, a doctor by profession, portrayed the life of the city, becoming one of the best photographers of the 1940s and 1950s in Spain. Thanks to ABC’s series Psychological Portraits, Schommer earned a professional status that was admired and envied in equal measure.
His portraits, far from seeking visual complacency, explored aspects, concepts and paradoxes that invited reflection and debate. His was a very personal style, which he called Masks: faces in the foreground, with overhead lighting, the look in their eyes shadowed by their eye sockets. His models at that time were bankers, ministers and powerful people.
Thanks to the freedom offered by distance, and well aware that his photograph would have made the great painter smile, Schommer used the setting of Las Meninas –the famous painting by Velazquez– to compose his work Levitación de la Infanta. The flowing gowns inspired him to recreate his own scene where the little blonde princess seems to float in the center. Naturally, this work by Schommer has been retouched. With the help of Martin Sampedro, his confidant, the photographer became a technology enthusiast.