Both Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci had Florentine teachers and crossed these roads and hills many times, their work creating an influence on western art that survives to this very day. Michelangelo, one of the founders of the high renaissance, was a sculptor, painter, architect, and poet. If cameras had been around in his day he would have shot film. His frescos are on the wall at the villa and to use them as a background for my own images is not just a great privilege but an inspiration.
Though the great masters painted in rich pigments, in brilliant colour that remains fresh and vibrant, for some reason I decided to work in black and white. It's like going back to your roots. Black and white is classical, timeless, and with the mediaeval mood that has come over me since I arrived at the villa, I feel inspired to stretch myself and create something on the very edge of my own imagination. Please feel free to comment on the word reproduced in these pages.
Tomorrow my second model is arriving and I will try to take the opportunity to have them pose together.
I should also, of course, mention the culinary delights of Tuscany. What can I say that Michelangelo hasn't said? When you've been working all day you are literally starving when you come to eat at night. I could eat anything and the food of Tuscany is so good, so excellent, you want to try everything. And the chefs will bring out tiny portions so you can do just that.
But now here is a very strange thing: with Italian food you enjoy the taste so much you don't stuff yourself. Picking each plate is like choosing a diamond: it's quality not quantity that matters. You drove through Tuscany and in the cities you don't see a lot of fat people.