Exquisite Portraits of Chess Pieces Personified Explore the Duality of Good vs. Evil

Chess is much older than most believe it to be. Originating in Eastern India, some version of the game has existed since the sixth century. The global upheaval of maritime exploration and trade proliferated the game widely, and it evolved along the way. What reaches us today is not only an option for a quiet Sunday but an important cultural touchstone that reveals a lot about who we’ve become as a people. It is no surprise then that portrait photographer Francesco Ridolfi saw this as fertile ground for a brilliant exploration of the core duality of the human character: good vs. evil.

Ridolfi writes, “Often, inside each one of us, opposing drives make themselves felt and alternate within as light illuminates and shadow darkens our minds. Black and White. Good plays Evil. Chess figures offer an opportunity to explore this dualism. They provide a set of archetypes that convey different aspects of human nature. They throw us into relief; they highlight us in shadow and light.” Take a look at the gallery and a behind-the-scenes video of the shoot and ask yourself: which one am I?

Chess Portraits - Pawn White
Image credit: Francesco Ridolfi