To capture the essence of master painters, Dan Bannino shot outside the lines. The Italian photographer pilgrimaged to 22 European cities and towns for his Eye of the Artist series, a collection of photos from the perspective of 10 famous artists, from Pablo Picasso to Paul Cézanne. “I wanted to eat their food, smell the air, see the same colors that they had in their eyes,” says Bannino.
In Albi, France, Bannino visited the church Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was baptized in and met with the artist’s last living relative at the family castle, Château du Bosc. He based his Toulouse-Lautrec photo on a story about how the French painter filled water glasses with fish so guests would be forced to drink wine at his parties. Other stops included Dalí’s favorite restaurant and impromptu performance space in Spain’s Costa Brava region, and Renoir’s retirement home in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, where he continued to paint despite crippling rheumatism. Els Quatre Gats, Picasso’s Barcelona café hangout that still uses the menu cover that the surrealist designed, inspired the backdrop of Bannino’s Picasso-themed image, which also features another museum name—Rothko, Bannino’s canine travel companion.
Photographer and Traveler contributor Jurjen Drenth traveled around France and Holland for similar projects on Vermeer, Rembrandt, and van Gogh. He re-created van Gogh’s gritty “Potato Eaters” with a Dutch family in their kitchen. His advice for artful itineraries? “Read about and see the works before you go, to get deeper into the artist’s world.”
- Nat Geo Expeditions