Photographer Romain Veillon travelled across Europe documenting abandoned frescos for his latest series, Le Musee Imaginaire.
‘It was like being the only visitor of a forbidden museum,’ says Veillon, of the experience. The photographer snuck into abandoned houses in Italy, Portugal, France, Ireland and Croatia to shoot the images, which show faded frescos gradually being covered by plants, or lost to the elements.
Veillon found the historic homes with a bit of luck, but also the help of research, friends and contacts that shared locations. Often, he says, he stumbled across the paintings by chance, and soon found himself focusing more on them than the buildings themselves.
‘You have a strange feeling,’ he explains. ‘You’re both happy and sad when you see these paintings. Happy because they’re gorgeous and not a lot of people are able to see them, but also sad because they’re condemned to be destroyed, little by little, thanks to time and decay. Soon, they’ll be gone.’
‘I wanted to give others the possibility of contemplating these incredible artists, and imagining how the place was when it wasn’t abandoned – full of life and people.’