Pasquale De Antonis was born in Teramo, in Abruzzo, in 1908. Approaching photography on his own, in the early 30s he worked in a friend’s studio in Bologna and he made an exhibition at the Prima Biennale Internazionale d’Arte Fotografica in Rome. In 1934 he opened his studio in Pescara and shortly after, interested in social issues, he began a research on rural life in Abruzzo. This reportage opened him the doors to the new Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, which he attended for two years. In ‘39 he moved to Rome, taking over the studio of Arturo Bragaglia in Piazza di Spagna and starting a brilliant career as a portraitist. He was also specialized in the reproduction of works of art. After the war he dedicated himself to theater and cinema: he worked as a stage photographer for many directors, including Luchino Visconti and Giorgio Strehler, and he immortalized all the greatest stars of Cinecittà.In ‘46 he got in contact with the Obelisk gallery, where he exhibited his abstract photography works in the 1950s. The co-owner Irene Brin introduced him to the staff of Bellezza, an Italian high-fashion magazine, in which De Antonis published his shots for fifteen years. He died in Rome in 2001.
Among the publications on his work figure: Feste in Abruzzo in the 30s (Quasar, 1984), De Antonis. Un fotografo a teatro (De Luca Editori d’Arte, 1998) and Pasquale De Antonis. La fotografia di moda 1946-196 (Marsilio, 2008), catalogs of the homonymous exhibitions.
A selection of his photographs is included in the international touring exhibition nd in the book NeoRealismo. La nuova immagine in Italia 1932-1960, published in Italian editions (Admira Edizioni, 2006), Spanish (La Fábrica Editorial, 2007), German (Christoph Merian Verlag / Fotomuseum Winterthur, 2007) and English (DelMonico Books•Prestel / Admira Edizioni, 2018).
All images © Archivio De Antonis.