great thread. very interested in the 'public-private' dichotomy. Open house in the roman period with an outward looking view of the world and the 18thC 'hidden' life and public shame of eroticism.
Presumably religion is to blame for a false stricture placed on people's life?
Although art has always been a means of challenging the artificial controls of bourgeois religions. Presumably something to do with the 'enlightenment' too?
It's fascinating to see how viewing the same image changed over periods of time, when the image does not, or is replicated.
So the image is constant, but our views, morality and opinions, our 'ways of seeing' the image changes.
Hello mikk! Thanks for the comments!
I wanted to tell you and everybody else about what I've been doing the last few days: I've been collecting new material for a few new posts in this thread!
I'm not going to post in the upcoming weekend (Sunday 2 April), but probably next weekend (Sunday 9 April).
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Before I start writing in this post I want to give a direct link to a lecture on Queering Classical Art I posted a couple of days ago: [Only Registered Users Can See LinksClick Here To Register]
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In this and the following posts I'll continue in an earlier track : Photography used as an aid for artists. I'll start with an artist who - so to speak - kept his work mainly indoors and then continue with two painters who became members of the expanding cohort of outdoor painters in the wake of French Impressionism!
Jacques de Lalaing (1858-1917)
To be honest I don't know much about the Belgian-British sculptor and painter Lalaing, but I managed to find a nice collection of photos of nude models working in his studio in the 1880's-1890's.
Painting and photography en plein air:Two cases.
Thomas Eakins (1844-1916)
There are many reasons why realist painter Thomas Eakins should be considered one of the most interesting American artists in the 2nd half of the 19th century, and one of these reasons would be that in the case of Eakins we get a very precise approximation of the distance between Paris, France, and US Philadelphia: the distance was a loincloth on a nude male art model!
As a young art student Eakins studied in the studio of Jean-Léon Gérôme in Paris and, hence, was fundamentally trained in an artistic tradition where the study of the nude male body still was thought to be fundamental for all visual art; so Eakins as a student lived and breathed where it was taken for granted that a nude model just had to be NUDE! NOT with some kind of trousers on!
When Eakins came back to Philadelphia and later became a professor of painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in this city, these attitudes and ideas clashed with dominant mores in American Victorianism when he as an Academy professor removed a loincloth of one of the male models in his class. Scandal occurred.
In the following I want to basically show two kinds of things. First I'll show a small number of oil paintings by Eakins, and then a set of photos made by Eakins.
Let's start with one of his most famous paintings: Swimming (1885) (I'll soon get back to this picture!)
It's quite obvious that male nudity was one of Eakins more important motives. Here's a small set of painting beginning with Arcadia and followed by Wrestlers and Salutat!.
Eakins the outdoors artist and photographer.
Eakins became one of all artists in the wake of French impressionism who became inspired to take their art in the outdoors. Since he at the same time was bent on using photography as an aid in the creative process this meant he had to take his camera outdoors.
The first photos in the following set are from the swimhole where the action in my first Eakins painting happened!
Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929)
After finishing his education in the Slade Art School, London, and a long journey to Italy, Henry Scott Tuke came to live and work in Cornwall for the rest of his life, first in Newlyn, then moving to Falmouth a couple of years later.
I must confess there are few European painters working at the turn of the century 1900 I'm so genuinely fond of as Tuke; his pictures are so warm, so full of boyish joy!
It's easy to describe what the central motives in Tuke's art were: Boys and young men bathing, swimming, fishing and rowing on the shores nearby Falmouth; boys light clad, or almost nekkid. In Tuke's art there's such intense sunshine you wouldn't believe we're actually in England!
Tuke as photographer.
Tuke was -just like his elder contemporary Thomas Eakins - one of the painters interested in using photography as an aid for his creative processes.
Here's a set of Tuke photos!
Last edited by gorgik9; 04-09-2017 at 02:05 AM.
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Earlier I've been talking about artists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries using photography to aid and document their creative processes, but at the same time (let's say about 1880-1920) there was another kind of discourse emerging: About photography as an art in its own right.
Illustrating anything printed and the rise of the "Kodaker".
In the early 1890s the world of photography and photographers was changing at a fast pace and the changes were multidimensional and multidirectional.
The first thing to fundamentally change the social, cultural and economic position of photography was the invention of the halftone plate in 1880, making it possible to reproduce photography in any kind of print medium. Suddenly we got photoillustrated books, journals, magazines, newspapers and posters. The newspapers illustrated with xylographies (wood engravings) would soon be a closed chapter of western history.
Also in the 1880s US inventor and entrepreneur George Eastman started in 1884 by inventing the first fully useable roll film, making it possible to get rid of the heavy, clumsy and fragile glass plates and - in just a few years - paving the way for film cameras, film projectors and cinema! (Think about that all my film buff friends on GH!)
In 1888 Eastman presented the first Kodak camera, or, if you like, the photography for you to press the button and for the Kodak company to do the rest - this is the start of popular amateur photography!
Pictorialists, the Linked Ring and Photo-Secessionists: The discourse on photography as an art.
But all photographers weren't comfortable with a future as either "Kodakers" or newspaper illustrators, and neither did they like the prospect of continuing as traditional studio photographers taking peoples portraits, so - then what?
The suggestion from a number of groups and movements would be: Photography should become a full blown visual art that can stand up to established genres of art like painting and engraving. This became the slogan of the Pictorialist movement, the Linked Ring Brotherhood and the Photo-Secession. But what did they really mean?
The various groups arguing for photography as a fine art positioned themselves on a bipolar scale:
To the left (so to speak) we find groups arguing that for photography to become an art this must mean that photography should closely mimick painting or engraving, but yet againg, this could mean pretty different things depending on what painterly style you would like to imitate.
In early British Pictorialism of the 1880s-1890s this tended to mean folksy genre painting in realist style; thus we have the pictorialism of Peter Henry Emerson (1856-1936) and Frank Meadow Sutcliffe (1853-1941):
But at the very turn of the century 1900 the popularity of Impressionist style painting was definitely ascending, in particular among photographers eager to engage in the many different complicated and time consuming print methods like gum bichromate print, cabro print, bromoil print, oil pigment print and platinum print.
Alvin Langdon Coburn.
While Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) as the founder of the Photo-Secessionist group in 1902, editor of the art journal "Camera Works" and the owner of "291 Gallery" in New York could be named as one of the most influential artists all categories in the first half of the 20th century in the US, it actually was Fred Holland Day (1864-1933) - Stieglitz only serious competitor to the position as the leader og US art photography - who was the first in the US to start talking about photography as a fine art. Here's his portrait!
Holland Day is of particular interest to us for two reasons - first beacuse his obviously eroticist interest in the nude male body; and second, because of his for its time very unusual interest for the nude male black body.
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To the right on the bipolar scale I talked about above we find people insisting that to develop photography as an art you must strive to cultivate the properties UNIQUE for photography; hence, a position arguing for the opposite of pictorialists wanting to mimick painting.
When photographers arguing for the uniquely photographical "married" their position to a full blown formalist modernist aesthetics, this sounded the death knell of pictorialism; instead we got the Straight Photography Movement from about 1920 with photographers like Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham and Ansel Adams.
Last edited by gorgik9; 04-16-2017 at 02:33 AM.
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