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PICTORIALISM Photography as Fine Art Slide 2 Is Photography Art? In the beginnings of the Photography medium, this was an important question. Looking back about 150 years, painter Paul Delaronde exclaimed from today painting is dead, referring to the opinion that photography would overtake the traditional fine arts. Was he right? Slide 3 How is photography made to be like art? In 1853, Sir William Newton spoke to the Photographic Society of London about Photography in an Artistic View. He felt that pictures should not be so chemically as artistically beautiful. I do not conceive it to be necessary that the whole of the subject should be what is called in focus, on the contrary, I have found that the object is better obtained by the whole subject being a little out of focus, thereby giving a greater breadth of effect and consequently more suggestive of the true character of nature. Slide 4 SUBJECT MATTER Art was understood to embrace certain area: Landscape Portraiture Still life Figure studies Genre studies Religious themes Slide 5 By this time, the novelty of capturing images was beginning to fade, and many were now questioning whether the camera was in fact extremely accurate and detailed. This, in addition with the fact that painting enjoyed a much higher status than this new mechanical process, cause some photographers to look for new techniques that, as they saw it, could make photography more of an art form. Slide 6 Edward Steichen, The Pond, Moonlight, 1904 Slide 7 The term Pictorialism is used to describe photographs in which the actual scene shown, is of less importance than the artistic quality of the image. For Pictorialists the aesthetics and, the emotional impact of the image, was much more important than what was in front of the camera. To accomplish their task, the Pictorialists used different techniques: Combination printing (from several negatives)Combination printing The use of soft focus in the camera, The manipulation of the negative (scratching or painting over the negative) Gum bichromate, which greatly lessened the detail and produced a more artistic image.Gum bichromate Slide 8 Photographers adopted these subjects and tried to imitate paintings characteristics Soft focus Composite photographs Genre photos Visual narrative Moral themes Recreation of Classics Theatricality of costumes and backdrops An escape from Realism Slide 9 Julia Margaret Cameron 1815 - 1879 Slide 10 At the age of 49 Julia got her first camera as a gift. Slide 11 St. Agnes, 1864-79 Cameron's early work concentrated on allegorical and religious themes. By 1866 she was producing her best known work, which was portraiture. Slide 12 Cameron used collodion negatives and her images have an out-of-focus quality. She was criticised by some of her contemporaries for what they considered the technical failure of her work given that the collodion negative could produce images of great clarity and detail. The appearance of her work, however, was intentional. 'When focusing and coming to something which, to my eye, was very beautiful, I stopped there instead of screwing on the lens to the more definite focus which all other photographers insist upon.' Julia Margaret Cameron, 'Annals to my Glass House', 1874 Her exposure times of three to seven minutes compounded the soft focussing of her images as her subjects were likely to move during that time. Slide 13 Virginia Wolfe Slide 14 Italian Man Sir William Herschel Slide 15 In referring to portraiture, Cameron said: When I have had such men before my camera, my whole sole has endeavored to do its duty towards them in recording faithfully the greatness of the inner as well as the features of the outer man. Charles Darwin Slide 16 In the early 1870s her photographs were used as illustrations of literary works including Tennyson's 'Idylls of the King' (1874-5). The Camerons moved to Ceylon in 1875, where she produced a few works and where she died in 1879. Slide 17 King Arthur wounded lying in the barge, 1875 King Lear Slide 18 Henry Peach Robinson Henry Peach Robinson was born in England in 1830. He began work as a bookseller, but in 1857 he switched careers and opened a portrait studio. He was then and is still most famous for his artfully produced combination prints. In addition to his photographic work Henry wrote passionately about photography and was influential with the pen as well. Henry as one of the first victims of overexposure to toxic photo chemicals. He made himself sick and had to give up his career. Slide 19 Fading Away,1858 Henry Peach RobinsonHenry Peach Robinson was a pioneer of pictorialist photography. His most famous photograph is Fading Away, is a composition of five negatives, in which he shows a young girl dying of tuberculosis surrounded by her family. It was very controversial, because many felt that it was acceptable for the painters to approach this kind of tragic and intimate moments, but it was not appropriate for a photographer to do so. Slide 20 Combination printing Slide 21 It seemed that since a photograph is usually a recorded proof of an incident that in reality took place in life, to see an 'untruthful' or artistic photograph was shocking to the viewers of the time. The public felt that though it was all right for painters to paint pictures on the themes of death and grief, it was not natural for the photographers to falsify such a setting. This controversy however, made him the most famous photographer in England and the leader of the 'Pictorialist' movement. The exhibitions of "Fading Away" were a huge success. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2785850 Slide 22 Picasso, Science and Charity,1897 This academic painting shows a woman on her deathbed, a doctor on her right and a nun on her left. The doctor looks away from the patient as he takes her pulse and goes about his science. The religious sister holds the woman's soon-to-be- orphaned child, proffering a glass toward the woman offering comfort. Both the nun and the doctor wear the same colors of black and white, and appear as two sides of a scale. But the balance is tipped slightly toward the sister as the light shines on her while the doctor is cast in shadow. At the moment of death his science is useless, but the charitable care of the sister can offer solace. Slide 23 Henry Peach Robinson Lady of Shalott, 1861 Imitation of Pre-Raphaelite painting -literary inspiration for subject matter Slide 24 Rossetti Slide 25 Slide 26 Genre subject matter - Slide 27 Slide 28 Slide 29 Robert de Machy Slide 30 Robert DeMachy was born in France in 1859. He practiced photography toward the end of the pictorialism period when movement was already underway to champion "straight" photography as art. DeMachy was firmly set against accepting "straight" photography; without the hands-on manipulation of the artist to provide an expressive and interpretive character, a photograph was not art, in his opinion. His prints are often hard to identify as originally photographs. Robert DeMachy was a vocal advocate of Pictorialism and like Robinson he wrote and published extensively.. Eventually he moved away from photography and took up drawing and painting directly. Slide 31 Contrasts, 1904 Slide 32 Slide 33 Robert de Machy, Struggle, 1904 Slide 34 Oscar Rejlander Hard Times, 1860 Slide 35 Oscar Rejlander was born in 1813 in Sweden. He studied for a career in painting and moved to England. Photography caught his eye and he shifted his career and opened a Studio. Becomes a master of practice of combination printing -- using multiple negatives to construct elaborate images. Combination prints were one type of photo that the pictorialists had good success getting accepted by the fine art establishment Slide 36 Slide 37 Raphael, School of Athens, 1510-11 Slide 38 Shown in 1857 at an exhibition in Manchester, it provoked considerable controversy. Victorians were quite used to the portrayal of nakedness in paintings and sculptures, but photographs were so true to life that even though the posing was discreet, this was too much. At one stage this photograph went to Scotland to be exhibited and the picture was considered so controversial that the left hand side of the picture was concealed, only the right side being shown. However, there were others who saw in this picture a valiant attempt to use photography in a domain which up to that time painters had dominated, and when Queen Victoria purchased a copy for her husband (at ten guineas), this seemed to make his photograph respectable! Slide 39 Oscar Rejlander Storytelling allegory. What do you think is going on here?! Slide 40 Two Ways of Life, 1857 Slide 41 Rejlander presents a father sending his two sons out on their journey of life. One is tempted by sirens who offer him gambling, temptation, sex and debauchery whilst the other son follows a righteous path of religion, science and learning. In the centre appears the veiled, partly clothed figure symbolising repentance and turning towards the good. The image caused an uproar in its day due to the left hand side containing naked figures (not a problem in paintings but photography meant these people had to be naked in real life!). Rejlander was a composite pro! Slide 42 Many artists turned to photography and Rejlander had worked as a portrait painter upto the 1840s. He used photography to create his own artistic projects and cut and pasted many negatives together to achieve the huge images he wanted to create. He could not have physically had a studio large enough to place all the models in many of the images he wished to create. So he devised a way of working which allowed him to photograph the models individually and then join the negatives together later. Slide 43 The image was the first publicly exhibited photograph of a nude, the first major art photograph and the first photo- montage. The wet-plate negatives, 32 in all, were meticulousl