Ferdinando Scianna’s foray into fashion photography happened by chance. The then new label, Dolce and Gabbana, wanted to commission a photographer not from a fashion background and chose him. The characteristic approach Scianna developed to photographing fashion drew heavily on his background as a documentarian of his home country, with Italian social traditions, religious iconography, and the concept of the matriarch as the head of the family coming together to shape his style.

This contact sheet contains the Dutch model Marpessa in a in a Villa Palagonia, Bagheria, Sicily, Italy, 1987.

Ferdinando Scianna joined Magnum Photos in 1982.

Get Magnum news and updates directly to your inbox

Stay in touch
Stay up to date every Thursday with Magnum photographers’ activities, new work, stories published on the Magnum website, and the latest offerings from our shop.
Be the first to know about recent Magnum Shop drops. From new books and limited editions, to special offers, you can find it all on the weekly Magnum Shop newsletter.
Get fortnightly tips and advice articles, find out about the latest workshops, free online events and on-demand courses.
Learn about online and offline exhibitions, photography fairs, gallery events, plus fine print news and activities, on a monthly basis.
Know when our quarterly 7-day square print sale is coming.
Monthly updates on the latest assignments, photographer projects and collaborations with brands.