I was at Christies Auction house in New York on Thursday helping to set up for a fundraiser I am involved in each year, the Tibet House Benefit Auction event. I had to pass many times that day through the front entrance of Christies, where there are large screens displaying various upcoming auction events and Christies Luxury Properties for sale. I was stopped dead in my tracks more then once by luminous images of landscapes featuring rustic boulders, pebbled shores and windmills. It all looked vaguely familiar.
Where was this? The island of Faro and the property listed was Ingmar Bergman's estate that had sold just two weeks previously. The Christies catalog describes the property as such:
...Hammars is the main house, secluded along a road that winds through pine forests and quiet meadows. Completed in 1967, it remains an integral part of the island, along with the pebbled shores and luminous sky. Framing gorgeous sea vistas, the residence was designed by architect Kjell Abramson in close collaboration with Bergman himself. The writing lodge is an idyllic two-room timber structure with a magnificent ocean view; it can be seen in the final sequence of the iconic television drama “Scenes from a Marriage.” The serene terrain here is defined by fossils, pine trees, and an undisturbed horizon with ever-changing light.
Situated on an open meadow, Ängen is a comfortable winter retreat house, built in a classic Gotland style by expert craftsmen and offering three bedrooms, a living room with an impressive fireplace, and an inner courtyard that glows with lilacs in summer. Finally, just a short walk from the water is Dämba, a beautifully restored 1854 farmhouse. In an old whitewashed barn situated nearby is Bergman’s private cinema, where he watched films every day." (photos of estate from Christies Properties)
Bergman was arguably one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th century producing films such as The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Cries and Whispers and Fanny & Alexander. Bergman fell in love with Faro when he came to the island with legendary cinematographer Sven Nykvist in 1960 to scout for the film Through a Glass Darkly. He says in the film documentary Bergman Island that he felt instantly at at peace on the island as if he had come home. Although Bergman had many marriages (six wives, nine children) the island of Faro seems to me to have been his biggest muse. It is here that he wrote and filmed most of his work and chose to live full time, very much in tune with the island's unique light and rugged beauty. I tried to find pictures of the houses but was unable to come up with much. The rooms are very sparse and to get a good look one should go to the W Magazine video of Bergman's home at: http://www.wmagazine.com/video?videoID=46093135001 .