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CLAVEROL, "IN MEMORIAM"

"In recent days Claverol's own work, along with that of his father, Don José, one of the first pioneers of photography, has been widely discussed. This is not only because of his passing away after a long and fruitful existence, but also because many of us have grown up knowing Andorra and her people as they used to be through pictures that were made for posterity. Whether on glass plates or on celluloid, the Head of Government, Marc Forné said in these very pages, "without Valentí Claverol's photographs, Andorra would have no past.

The man has left us, but he leaves an important and utterly priceless legacy which could never be repeated. Today, however, I wish to speak not about his work, which we should leave for the specialists, but rather about the person whom I had the honour of knowing and considering a friend.

It was not only because he was twice my age that I always used a formal Catalan form of address when speaking to him: despite his fragile appearance, which was more visible in his latter years, Mr Claverol was imposing.

He had a incisive expression, always appearing to be looking through the lens, and was widely recognised for his kindly nature. This recreator of shadows and light, this great conversationalist and deep thinker, was, of all the people I have met, one of those who lived most at ease and at peace with himself, doing what he loved to do without making a fuss nor giving himself airs.

He was never loath to get up while it was still dark, sometimes accompanied by his son Josep who helped to carry the tripod, in order to use the Linhof Technika 9X12 he always kept with him to eternalise that hard-sought magic moment in which a cloud passed over the ridge. Or to capture for posterity some official or everyday act in all its authenticity. Only a few chosen people are able to do this.

Now he is resting "at the cottage" as he would sometimes jokingly put it, but who can say whether, wherever he is, he has got hold of a good camera and is now standing square behind the lens as always, watching us. This is how I would always like to remember him."

 

Rosa Mari Sorribes

Diari d'Andorra 18 - 1 - 2000

"The Valentí Claverol Archives wish to thank Ms Rosa Mari Sorribes, for her kind permission in allowing The Archives to reproduce her article on this website."

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