In travelling the world to photograph his favorite type of image, Magnum photographer Ferdinando Scianna seems to have had little chance to do much sleeping of his own. Over the course of three decades, he has snapped thousands of images of sleepers--a Balinese farmer in her fields, a napper on a rocky crag in Bolivia, a dog in the shade of a laundry line in Egypt, a barefoot man along an Italian pier, an infant on a woman's lap in India. Looking at the faces of all these sleeping people--rich and poor, young and old, comfortably ensconced in beds and arranged awkwardly on the ground--one can't help but wonder where their dreams transport them.
Scianno's rich black and white images are reproduced in warm sepia tones alongside aphorisms and phrases about sleep penned by such writers as Ernest Hemingway, Dante, Edgar Allen Poe, and Christina Rosetti. One phrase in Sir Philip Sydney seems to capture the spirit of the collection:
Come, Sleep! Oh Sleep, the certain knot of peace, The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe, The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release, The indifferent judge between the high and low.