Poetic, dreamy and romantic. Do you love romantic pictures as much as we do? Then there’s a big chance some pictures by Monia Merlo can be found on one of your Pinterest boards. This Italian freelance photographer gets inspired by literature, poetry, nature and her inner feelings. And that really shows in her beautiful pictures.
Monia Merlo, from Renaissance
Between shadows and light
In her photography Monia can share her ideas of femininity. Fragile bodies with a milky skin give a feeling of melancholy and loneliness. Colour and light create a romantic, dreamlike atmosphere. The clair-obscur is important in her work and she prefers creating this effect with natural light.
Monia Merlo, from Flowers All Around
The photographer adores working with flowers and plants. Their fragile shape refers to the inner feelings of her protagonists. In her series Flowers All Around she states: “A garden is a space of silent contemplation, almost a sacred place. I like to think that the women of my photographs live in a ‘Secret Garden’ of their own, a protected and enclosed space, which we can only approach with care and patience.”
Vermeer, Margritte and Hammershøi
One of Monia’s biggest sources of inspiration is art. For example, when it comes to the use of light, she gets inspired by painters like Vermeer and Rembrandt. Soft and natural.
Monia Merlo, from Like A Painting
Also, she masters the art of creating an amazing photograph based on a certain painting. She proved this with her interpretation of Portrait of a Lady in Pink by Einar Jolin (1939) for The Green Gallery.
Monia Merlo, from Philosophical Beauty
For her project The Poetry of Silence Monia payed special attention to the Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916). He portrayed women in neutral interios of a gray colour palette.
Hammershøi – like Merlo – often visualises the female figures from the back, which creates an introvert atmosphere. Merlo: “My figures do not contemplate the infinite as in the Romanticism, they do not look out of a window, we do not participate to their wonder. We can only observe them while they protect their intimacy, hiding their faces while they show us their unexhibited femininity, utterly indifferent to the fact of being observed…”
Monia Merlo, from The Poetry of Silence Part I
Monia Merlo, from The Poetry of Silence Part II
Monia enjoys translating paintings to photography. During the postproduction she plays with several compositions and adds some colour here and there. In this way amazing digital collages come to life. You can find some examples at her Artwork and her project Botanica.
In her own unique way, Monia Merlo portrays women in the current world, where fragility, loneliness and doubt are not always perceived as beauty. In line with some great artists before her, she elevates vulnerability to something aesthetic. This yields beautiful, dreamy photographs. Fallen in love yet? You can have a look at her work on her website moniamerlophotographer.com.