4470Lecture_8

4470Lecture_8 - Professor: Darius A. Spieth Art History...

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Professor: Darius A. Spieth Art History Program LSU School of Art
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Robert Demachy, Speed , from Camera Work #7, July 1904, photogravure Pictorialism was the dominant direction for ambitious photography from the mid-1880s until the early 1900s; remnants of it continued to linger on until the 1920s Characteristics of Pictorialism: soft focus (shadows, fog), subdued middle-gray tones, often peaceful or soothing subjects, recreation of effects typically associated with painting or drawing Practitioners, such as Demarchy in France, understood photography as full-fledged modern art form Point of reference was frequently earlier “art photography,” such as Henry Peach Robinson or Peter Henry Emerson (who felt misunderstood by the Pictorialists)
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Robert Demachy, A Study in Red , 1898, gum biochromate print Demarchy, a wealthy amateur photographer, became one of the first champions of Pictorialism in Paris A founding member of the Photo-Club de Paris (a secession group from the more conservative Société Française de Photographie, founded 1894); together with British Pictorialist followers like Alfred Maskell, he exhibited prints made with the gum-bichromate process at the group’s first show, the French Photographic Salon In the gum-bichromate process, a sheet of paper was brushed with gum arabic into which had been mixed potassium bichromate and colored pigment; after it dried, the paper was exposed to a negative > the photochemically sensitive materials on the paper hardened in proportion to the amount of light received; the photographer then washed away the unhardened material, leaving a positive print > during the wash, the photographer could add color, or brush the print to create painterly effects
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Robert Demachy, Jeunes Filles du Ballet , 1901, black gum print In general, experiments with photographic materials was part and parcel of the aesthetics of Pictorialism Prints were often printed on textured paper; platinum printing was also a technique of choice: the craft aspect of both negatives and prints was stressed deliberately > these techniques created “artistic” effects that stood in a deliberate contrast to the sharp black-and-white contrast of commercial prints, typically reproduced on glossy paper Aesthetically, Pictorialism can be compared to the atmospheric effects that the Impressionists tried to create in painting and the Arts and Crafts Movement of the late 19 th century: words like “poetic,” “art,” “naturalistic,” and “impressionistic” were often used The iconography of this print makes obviously reference to Degas’s pastels of ballet dancers
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Robert Demachy, Contrasts , n. d., mezzotint Photogravure Gum printing was not a new process: Alphone Louis Poitevin had invented it in 1855, but it was recast in 1894 by A. Rouillé-Ladévèze, from whom Demarchy learned the process Gum printing could also be combined with other processes, such as platinum, to create visual depth
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ART 4470 taught by Professor Dariusa.spieth during the Spring '08 term at LSU.

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4470Lecture_8 - Professor: Darius A. Spieth Art History...

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