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Between and Mortarboard

UMMA Object Specific Fields

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Basílica do Palácio Nacional de Mafra

Accession Number

Basílica do Palácio Nacional de Mafra

Candida Höfer

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
chromogenic color print on paper

100 3/8 in x 80 5/8 in x 2 1/8 in (254.95 cm x 204.79 cm x 5.4 cm);100 3/8 in x 80 5/8 in x 2 1/8 in (254.95 cm x 204.79 cm x 5.4 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the W. Hawkins Ferry Fund

Label copy
March 28, 2009
I photograph in public and semi-public spaces that date from various epochs. These are spaces available to everyone. They are places where you can meet and communicate, where you can share or receive knowledge, where you can relax and recover.
—Candida Höfer
Höfer photographs interiors from all over the world: theaters, museums, libraries, and cathedrals. Her primary interest lies not in the location or function of the buildings that are her subjects, but in the spaces they enclose. Empty and vast, these are completely devoid of human presence, yet filled with quiet grandeur.
In this photograph of the cathedral at Mafra National Palace in Portugal, Höfer creates an atmosphere of ethereal stillness by desaturating the composition—leaving the warm rose-colored marble muted and pale—while infusing the space with pure white light. Through this choreography of nuanced color and light, along with a high vanishing point and an emphasis on symmetry, Höfer constructs a rigorously ordered composition that has a monumentality similar to that of the structure itself.

Subject matter
Pictured here is the apse of the basilica at Mafra Palace on the Lisbon coast of Portugal. The Baroque and Italianate neoclassical palace-monastery was built in 1717, and served the royal family through the eighteenth century. It is now a museum.

Physical Description
chromogenic print

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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cathedrals (buildings)
modern and contemporary art

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& Author Notes

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