This lavish fourth volume in Abrams' Slim Aarons collection revels in his longtime love affair with Italy. From breathtaking aerials of the Venetian canals and Sicilian countryside to intimate portraits in the villas and estates of celebrities and the beautiful people, Slim's photography captures the essence of the good life of the rich and famous of Italy. Italy undeniably held a special place in Slim's heart. As a photographer for Yank magazine, he witnessed the Italian campaign during World War II and was present at the liberation of Rome. Later, after the war, he abandoned Hollywood to travel to Rome as a photographer for Life magazine. Even after he relocated to New York, he would return to Italy almost every year for the rest of his professional life. His extensive archive documents the aristocracy, high society, celebrity, cultural elite and international jet set that found sanctuary in Italy's most beautiful places.
In addition to being his stock and trade, what he called "photographing attractive people who were doing attractive things in attractive places," these images paint the social and cultural geography of fifty year of Italy, from the Liberation of Rome to the 1990s. The introduction by Christopher Sweet will portray the close friendship between Slim Aarons and Robert Capa that began in Italy, as well as compelling evidence supporting the claim that Slim was the real life photographer on which Jimmy Stewart's character in Hitchock's Rear Window is based.
Christopher Sweet, the former editor in chief of Viking Studio/Penguin Group and the Vendome Press, acquired the three Slim Aarons books published by Harry N. Abrams, and edited the first two, Once Upon a Time (2003) and A Place in the Sun (2005), working closely with Slim Aarons. He has published several books on art and photography, including most recently, Yankee Colors: The Glory of the Mantle Years (2009) and Michael Dweck Mermaids (2008), and he is currently at work on a monograph on the photographer Alfred Gescheidt.