Castle of Saint or Sinner?

Uploaded 10 Apr 2012 — 40 favorites
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© Deborah Downes
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More of Deborah Downes’s Photos

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Photo license: © All rights reserved

The remains of this imposing castle stands in the Italian village of Nepi, which is a short drive from where Fred and I lived in Monterosi. During the 15th century Pope Alessandro VI, head of the Borgia family, gave this fortress to his illegitimate and infamous daughter Lucrezia Borgia, known as the "Black Widow". Historians continue to debate whether or not she deserved that label. No doubt she came from a ruthless family where murder and corruption were the norm, but her reputation as the most evil woman to have ever lived could very well be undeserved propaganda. During her third marriage she was in fact a strong patron of the arts, as well as a devoted wife and mother.

I tried to give this image the mystery and sadness I felt exists within these crumbling walls.

Don, thanks so much for the spotlight:)

In the Then and Now photo essay.

26 responses

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (10 Apr 2012):

    This is stunning, Deb! SO well done

  • Donna Mullins

    Donna Mullins (Deleted) gave props (10 Apr 2012):

    wonderful detail and textures ! Love the story too!

  • MindTheStep

    MindTheStep gave props (10 Apr 2012):

    Wonderful serie of shots!

  • Leslie Hunziker

    Leslie Hunziker gave props (10 Apr 2012):

    This series is just beautiful. You need to have a showing.

  • Shirley Valencia

    Shirley Valencia   said (10 Apr 2012):

    outstanding series. this is gorgeous..... outstanding entry.

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (11 Apr 2012):

    Rockin' JPG's Big C!

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham gave props (11 Apr 2012):

    She is listed on the list of serial killers. They say she bathed in their blood. A powerful image and entry.

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes gave props (11 Apr 2012):

    Thanks everyone. Regenia, she was only 39 when she died of puerperal fever, shortly after the birth of her fifth child. She was deeply mourned by everyone who knew her. From the account I read, later historians began to rewrite the Borgia story for their own purposes. They accused her of taking part in the murders carried out by her father and brother, plus incest with either her father or brother or both. Before she became Duchess of Ferrara, she was sexually active and might have committed incest with members of her family, but there appears to be little basis for her reputation as the Renaissance "Black Widow". In comparison to the rest of her family she was far closer to a saint than a cut throat villain.

  • Paperini Renato

    Paperini Renato said (11 Apr 2012):

    Can you discover the treasures of Italy lesser a specialization that gives you your great honor, that your series of photos are beautiful and unique for the patina of ancient that you have been able to give.

  • daniele castellucchio

    daniele castellucchio gave props (11 Apr 2012):

    simply fantastic!

  • Ken O'Brien

    Ken O'Brien gave props (11 Apr 2012):

    Fabulous,great entry!

  • stuart s

    stuart s gave props (11 Apr 2012):

    Wonderful picture and story Deborah.

  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield gave props (11 Apr 2012):

    LOVE the rich tones in this one! Fabulous photo!

  • Steve Baker

    Steve Baker (Deleted) gave props (12 Apr 2012):

    Fabulous photo, Deborah. I've always loved castles, and this one is gorgeous!

  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (12 Apr 2012):

    I love this one, Deb! Your added touches certainly accomplish your goal. This reminds me of an old tapestry, yellowed by time. A stunning entry.

  • Zapata Juan P

    Zapata Juan P gave props (12 Apr 2012):

    Love so much the texture and composition in this photos. Thanks for sharing

  • JamesHarmon McQuilkin

    JamesHarmon McQuilkin   gave props (13 Apr 2012):

    A beautiful and masterfully captured series

  • Mike Melnotte

    Mike Melnotte gave props (13 Apr 2012):

    Great pic and nice background info.

  • Ioana Caravan

    Ioana Caravan   gave props (13 Apr 2012):

    Thanks to share! Wonderful work of art!

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (14 Apr 2012):

    Masterful photo entry and a very interesting narrative.

  • Lanis Rossi

    Lanis Rossi gave props (15 Apr 2012):


  • elfriede fulda

    elfriede fulda (Deleted) gave props (18 Apr 2012):

    Fabulous entry Deborah !

  • Carlo Pagan

    Carlo Pagan gave props (19 Apr 2012):


  • Nadeem Shafi

    Nadeem Shafi gave props (23 Apr 2012):

    Texturization and tone works wonders for this scene.

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight gave props (27 Apr 2012):


  • Katherine Nak

    Katherine Nak   gave props (5 Jun 2012):

    Fabulous! Thank you, thank you for your words, wonderful,wonderful art!

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