How photography completely changed the visual arts
Both painting and photography are forms of visual art that are designed to create images and visual symbols.
The difference in the method of manufacture and creates some features.
Painting is not only the earliest known form of visual art, but also the earliest example of human creativity. Over such a long journey, appearance, form, language, and expression, both externally and internally, influenced each other and transformed.
Despite the fact that photography is the youngest of the known forms of visual art (less than two centuries old), it has undergone dramatic changes both externally and internally.
Any work of art reflects the influence of the surrounding artist’s society, the materials used, as well as the technologies characteristic of a particular era.
For example, prehistoric man used the walls of caves as canvas, and as materials – pigments made of ocher, the subject, in turn, was dictated by religious superstitions and nature.
The sculptor and architect Filippo Brunelleschi, was the first to apply a geometrically valid linear perspective in his work, giving perception of depth in the picture, and thus completely changing the existing artistic perception.
The end of the 18th century heralded the advent of the industrial revolution. During this period, artists in Western Europe enjoyed the benefits of technological progress: paints in tubes, as well as new clientele in the face of a rising middle class.
In the second half of the 19th century, the influence of photography on painting became palpable. Many artists used the camera obscura, projecting the image on the canvas.
Da Vinci, Velasquez, Caravaggio, Van Eyck and many other artists used lenses, mirrors, as well as many other optical devices to work on their canvases.
One of these devices was the camera obscura, the forerunner of photography, invented in 1457 to help artists.
The camera obscura (translated from the Latin. “Black Room”) is actually a box the size of a room with a hole on one side, which allowed the light to pass into the middle and project the image on the screen, from where the artist traced the image onto paper.
Astronomers used a pinhole camera to observe celestial bodies. This prompted physicists and optics specialists to invent a telescope and microscope, which completely changed existing astronomy, as well as the world of invisible microscopic objects.
Opened new horizons in the visual arts.
From the 16th to the 19th century, the obscura camera had various shapes and sizes: large, small, with or without lenses, with reversing mirrors, etc. But all of them were united by the desire to transmit a true image.
Back in the Baroque era, Caravaggio used this method: substances sensitive to light were applied to the canvas, allowing the image to be fixed for about 30 minutes, allowing the artist to apply paint in broad strokes using white lead with chemical reagents and minerals visible in the dark.
Among those who were directly involved in painting and visual arts, and also played an important role in the development of photography, was Louis Jacques Mandé Dager.
Before he began to improve the camera obscura, he earned a reputation as an artist as a landscape painter and creator of stage scenery.
Later he invented a diorama – a type of painting in which a picture vertically stretched along the inner surface of a stretcher is combined with three-dimensional layouts of objects, characters, etc., located in front of it.
Experiments with photography, he began to conduct in 1823. The daguerreotype (named after its creator) is a metal plate coated with a light-sensitive silver substance, using a chemical solution, an amazingly sharp and similar image was obtained, although it was unique because it could not be reproduced.
Before the daguerreotype was invented, artists for a very long time used a camera obscura in their work on paintings.
With the help of the pinhole camera, the 3d image was converted to 2d, thus helping the artists in the perception of the 2d image.
Another advantage of the camera obscura is that it narrows the whole range of brightness observed in nature to a more limited number of tones that can be reproduced by the artist using the available colorful pigments.
Meanwhile, another artist, Joseph Nicephore Niepce, successfully created a 10-dimensional image in 1822.
Niepce also worked for quite a long time on lithography. Therefore, the invention of photography (from the very beginning) affected two disciplines. Daguerre and Niepce began to work together on research, overcoming many obstacles. In 1833, after the death of Nieppe, his son became a partner of Daguerre.
Technology transfer, as well as the features of creation, became the mode of expression for artists. There was a time when artists followed the established rules and concepts that prevailed in the workshop.