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Painting and Photography
in nineteenth century, 2

When photography wasn't yet an art form…

Photography, 1
Photography, 3

When exposed to the photographic clichés, Realist painters developed hyper-realistic talents, while avant-garde painters nurtured their originality.

1. The alarming state of affairs

Realist painting competes with photographic realism, creating colour versions of images that are still in black and white.


3. The great masters and photography

Eugène Delacroix, Gustave Courbet and Gustave Moreau


For a long time, critics and friends of these painters were unaware of the extent to which their work was indebted to the photographic image.

2. Photographic or retinal acuity

  • Close-ups, accelerated perspectives and cropped shots were all flaws in photography that painters picked up on their canvases.

  • With the invention of the instant photograph, Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Marey decomposed animal movement.

  • The artistic world was in turmoil, especially Edgar Degas, Georges Seurat and Auguste Rodin.

Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet 


The Impressionists - painters of fleeting impressions captured on the spot - were no strangers to photography.

4.  The Impressionists and photography

Readings Aaron Scharf, Art and Photography, The Pingouin Press, 1968 Joël Petitjean, Gustave Courbet et la photographie, Fage éd., 2012 The Artist and The Camera : Degas to Picasso, Catalogue de exposition, Dallas Museum of Art, 2000

Iconographic study

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