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The story of an ill-loved invention

Photography and Painting in the 19th Century
The Birth of Photography

In this first section on photography in relation to painting, we will trace the history of the discovery of the photographic process in France and England, and look closely at its influence on painting.


In less than a decade, the art of painted portraiture found itself in competition with photography. Although they were not so directly affected, landscape painters immersed themselves in the visuality of what were then called 'photographic impressions' and responded to it.


The art of the École de Fontainebleau, Ingres, Manet and even the Pre-Raphaelites was marked by this new, albeit disparaged, visuality.

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