Photography can be defined as a technique that allows us to capture moments, moments of life. It was born in 1827 and since then, the techniques used in photography have evolved more and more, giving us the possibility to take even more breathtaking images.
Photography as an art developed around 1888. This was still difficult to accept for some purists who found it difficult to conceive of photography as an artistic expression.
However, there is a very close link between photography and pictorial art. A real relationship has developed over time between photography and these other branches of art. This is the time to discover it in more detail. Focus!
The advent of photography as an art form
In order to apprehend the advent of photography as an artistic discipline, it is essential to discover the beginnings of this evolution.
The beginnings of photographic art
Photography made its appearance in the 19th century and it is owed to Nicéphore Niepce. He is also the author of the oldest photograph taken in 1827 entitled “Point de vue du Gras“. He used a process called heliography. A few years later, he teamed up with Louis Daguerre, who made photography techniques evolve. He introduced his Daguerreotype.
Daguerre’s research resulted in photographs with better exposure to light. They also led to the creation of photographic development. Louis Daguerre presented his discovery to the Academy of Sciences which patented it. This led to the creation of photo studios all over the city of Paris.
In 1888, thanks to Kodak who created the first portable camera, photography became more and more popular. This is how a revolution was created. Photographic processes are democratized and greatly influence the press as early as 1902. It then makes use of them for informative purposes. Photographs are used to illustrate articles.
Photography as an art really appeared with pictorialism. This aesthetic movement that characterizes photography appeared as early as 1889. Pictorialism is characterized by taking pictures in an atypical way. Photography does not respect existing standardisation, but becomes the subjective expression of the person taking it. The result is beautiful pictures that are not just reproductions, but become the materialisation of the photographer’s vision.
You still have the possibility to buy this kind of artwork or to go and see exhibitions in galleries. You can do it on Chromia.fr in particular. This art gallery allows you to discover artists already known or in full expansion, whether in the fields of fine art photography, painting, sculpture, collages… You will discover contemporary works that are committed and humanistic. You will be able to discover and purchase contemporary artworks or call upon their services for the organisation of turnkey exhibitions.
The conflict between pictorial art and photography
The advent of artistic photography is not looked upon favourably, especially by painters. Indeed, pictorialist photographers draw great inspiration from the arts such as portrait,
landscape and architectural views to create innovative photographs. They use special techniques to bring special touches to the photos they take. For example, images can be seen with blur, light contrasts or truncated frames. Famous pictorialist photographers such as Robert Demarchy propelled photo retouching to add originality to images.
Artistic photographers also wanted their work to be recognised as an art form in its own right. This new interpretation of reality and non-conformism to the standards of photography allowed them to create works of art. This gave legitimacy to their desire to integrate the artistic elite.
The painters, on the other hand, did not agree. They feared that photography would replace pictorial art. They therefore vigorously opposed it, and Jonathan Eastman, an American painter, reduced photography to a simple mechanical process. Still, with the evolution of the world and the creation of Surrealism, Dadaism and other artistic currents, photography has been able to take its place of choice in the world of art.
The contribution of photography to pictorial art
If photography initially drew its inspiration from pictorial art to create its own artistic expression, it must be said that pictorial art was also influenced by photography. These two branches were even brought together by some artists to create innovative works of art.
The influence of photography on pictorial art
Photography has been used for a long time by landscape painters and portraitists in their creative processes. Indeed, it was common as early as 1890 for painters to use photographs of their muses rather than keeping them in the place of their muses as was customary. The artist Mucha, for example, used photographic sketches which he reinterpreted in a different way in his works.
The photographs were then recreated through the artistic eye of the painter, who added his own personal touch. Photography then becomes a channel that feeds the imagination of painters and allows them to go further and further in their creative process.
The communion of photography and pictorial art
As art is constantly evolving, there is a constant flowering of new ways to create. These techniques sometimes include the mixing of different artistic materials. For example, sometimes pictorial art and photography are mixed together to create captivating and fascinating works. Some artists do not hesitate to include photo collages in their paintings. Painting and photography combine to produce original works.
This mixed technique can be found in some works from the Dadaist era and even in Pop Art.
All in all, when photography began to establish itself in the artistic field, it was not immediately well received. It was perceived as a threat by the pictorial arts. However, photography and the pictorial arts influenced each other. In the end, it is clear that photography is an art in its own right and has even been put at the service of others. Today, it blends in with the pictorial arts and changes the way of creating, thus enlarging the field of possibilities for artists. Of course, this cannot displease art lovers. From conflict to communion, the link between photography and pictorial art has evolved.