lecture 1 additional notes part 2.

Charles Baudelaire

‘The Salon of 1859: The Modern Public and Photography’. It is clear that he isn’t overly happy with how the invention of photography is taking away from the skills that already exist such as painting, and sculpting. To him it takes away the genius of the art at the time. He sees the usefulness in photography, such as from a documenting point of view used in the sciences, but doesn’t understand how many people are worshiping it compared to the true beauty of art, complaining that many would-be painters have moved to the medium to neglect the hard work of their studies or because of their lack of skill. It is an interesting point of view, but photography at that time divided so many opinions, as many people were scared of what it would do as excited by it.

Lady Eastlake

Eastlake was in similar thought to that of Baudelaire, in regards to photography and art. She believed it didn’t represent nature in anyway, and failed in its attempt to show true Chiaroscuro. It was a mechanical object highly useful in terms of its reproduction of scenes but lacked the creative genius of an artist. She believed it to be the “perfect medium” to produce things accurately for archiving or study, and could take the burden of art ensuring it didn’t have to stoop down to the perfect reproduction of things. She was for photography in certain areas, but to her it never had the ability to be an art form.

Francis Frith

Frith talks of the truthfulness of photography, and how that it can be used to show the world as it is compared to the potential intervention of truth from an artist. He is so impressed by the mediums possibility to represent the truth, how the camera has the ability to show every fine detail of a scene, such as tiny rocks. A painter natural wishes to enhance the scene, add something new or take something out, in order to create a better painting. Frith disagrees with this, where as Baudelaire is very much for it. It goes to show the differences and divide in opinion at the time of the invention of photography.




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