BiographyPierluigi Praturlon (Italian. b. 1924; d. 1999)
Pierluigi Praturlon (often known simply as 'Pierluigi') was born in Rome in 1924. Shortly after the war, Pierluigi drifted in photography and got his first major 'scoop' when he spotted the reclusive Greta Garbo on a visit to Rome. His notoriety grew, and he soon found himself as a regular fixture on the Cinecitta film sets.
In the past, on-set photographers had contented themselves with posed portraits of stars between takes, but Pierluigi brought a fresh vitality to this genre by employing reportage-style photography on set.
Pierluigi photographed Anita Ekberg as she famously cavorted in Rome's Trevi fountain, the iconic scene in Federico Fellini's La Doce Vita. What few people realize however is that the scene was based on an actual event which occurred two years earlier when Pierluigi was out with the star. As he recalls:
'Anita and I often went out together. We used to go dancing at a place near Casalpalocco. One night in August, in 1958, Anita who always danced barefoot, hurt her foot. Coming back to Rome at four in the morning, we passed the Trevi Fountain and Anita said 'Stop the car so I can rinse my foot.' 'No come on,' I said. You'll be home in a five minutes.' She insisted, so we stopped. She got out and, hiking up her skirt, began wading into the fountain, at which point I got my camera and started shooting her in the fountain's dusky glow. I remember two carabinieri standing in a corner who weren't more than twenty years old. They didn't say a word. They were completely entranced watching this beautiful woman in the fountain, with her long, lovely legs.' (Diego Mormorio, Pierluigi. 'Dalla dolce vita in su,' in Photo Italia no. 159 (September 1988): p.82)
Pierluigi was a very cultured man and also spoke five languages. He quickly became personal photographer to many of the greatest stars of the day, including Sophia Loren. Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio Gassman, Elsa Martinelli and Marlon Brando are also among the stars who chose to be immortalized by the celebrated photographer. Pierluigi soon gained the nickname 'Lux' because like the advertisement for the soap claimed, he was 'the choice of nine stars out of ten'.
In 2006 a major retrospective of his work was held at Milan's Photology gallery.
Pierluigi Praturlon was born in Rome. He grew up to become a photographer in the city's cinematic golden age, the prime of la dolce vita.
It was Pierluigi who suggested that Anita Ekberg climb into the Trevi Fountain when he was Fellini's on set collaborator. By the 1960s he had collaborated with almost every influential Italian director and Americans who were making movies in Italy at the time. He photographed actors such as Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anita Ekberg, Peter Sellers and Raquel Welch. He also spent many years as the official photographer for Sophia Loren. Towards the end of the 1960s when American productions left Italy, Pierluigi resumed his relationship with Federico Fellini and was there for his final films, Amarcord, Casanova, Orchestra Rehearsal, City of Women, And the Ship Sails On, and Ginger and Fred.
Pierluigi died in Rome.