More Than One School of Thought By Gaylatia Clower Art Appreciation April 15, 2011 There will an attempt to compare and contrast the relationship between painting and photography in Europe and America from about 1840 to 1870. The relationship will be between photographic verisimilitude and plein-aire painting. Painting and photography are two of the most popular art forms that supply artists with an outlet to express and give art viewers different ways of seeing the world. However, while both painting and photography can produce excellent images, the development of making and the action of seeing the two mediums are very different.
Plein-aire paintings expression means in the open air, and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors. However, photographic verisimilitude is relating to, used in, or produced by photography and the appearance of being true or real; but not supported by evidence. Artists have always painted outdoors, but in the 19th century the use of natural light became more important to the Barbizon school and Impressionism. The popularity of painting en plein-aire increased in the 1870s with the introduction of paints in cylinder tubes.
Before that, each painter produced their own paints by crushing and combining dry pigment powders with linseed oil. Two very good examples of plein-aire artwork are The Leaping Horse and Idle Hours. In the painting, The Leaping Horse by John Constable shows a barge horse attempting to jump over an apparatus used to control the feeding of cattle on the path beside a river. The arrangement and the use of color provide the viewer with a great knowledge of nature. The details of this painting influence the viewer’s experience.
As the viewer, it is almost possible to hear the call and flapping wings of a startled medium-sized water bird with black feathers and a red beak in the lower right corner of the painting. In Idle Hours by William Merritt Chase shows two women and one of them is in a red bonnet. There are also two little girls. All four figures are sitting on a hill side of mass sand and water. Chase chose the plein-aire way of painting and in Idle Hours, the viewer can see the painting’s hazy forms and mysterious tale. It is very easy to understand why the camera was considered to be a miracle of science when it was invented in early 1800s.
Even though there’s an understanding of the basic scientific assumptions involved, it can still be like magic. The development of photography probably moved painting away from realism and into more abstract expressionism. Photography is just like any other art form. A photographer still needs to know about composition, lighting, rule of thirds, color, texture, contrast, and so on. Painting and photography is really the same thing in my mind. There were the artists who believed that since we now had the camera, there was no reason to ever make mistakes drawing and painting again.
Others believed that they were free to paint however they wished. Other realized that photography had its limitations and was a completely different media than painting. One of those people was Roger Fenton. Fenton was a one of the first British war photographers. He became famous for his photos of the Crimean War in 1855 and one of those pictures is Valley of the Shadow of Death. The photograph is of course in black and white. In the picture it shows the opposite if the freedom of life and relaxation of the plein-aire paintings; it is a dirt road in a deep narrow valley which is spread out with cannonballs.
The acts of war have always been a difficult lesson to learn and even more difficult to view. Painting and photography are both individual arts in their own right. Photography and paintings have to both abide by the rules of color concept which are simply a group of useful directions that include color mixing and the ability to perceive the visual impact specific to color mixtures have on a viewer ‘s opinion. Many analysts believe that photography has developed just as fictional as painting has. A bigger complication is during war time, which adds to more political scandal and possible methods of war propaganda.
This proves that paintings can do a better job of relaying implicit comparison meanings and the one advantage photographs have over paintings, is that they have an ability to capture iconic images. A painter can take a blank canvas and fill it with stimulating things and good light, all in a nice composition. The photographer takes a canvas already filled with many wrongs things he tries to eliminate if possible, often bad lighting and tries to assemble it in a pleasing and interesting creation. In many espects taking a good photo is much harder than painting. A painter creates the reality he wants while the photographer has to find it. Photography is easily available, commonplace and disposable, used and thrown away in the time it takes for a camera to click and flash. Open-air artist try to seize an instant effect of what the eye sees, and not of what the viewer knows or feels about the work. The artist also study how light appears on subjects in different weather and at different times of the day, an interest that can be traced back to Realism.
They prefer to work outdoors in natural light, rather than in their studio with sketches and their work often tend to have brilliant colors that almost sparkle in their passion. . Work Cited Painting of “Idle Hours” by William Merritt Chase http://www. paintinghere. com/uploadpic/William%20Merritt%20Chase/big/Idle%20Hours. jpg Painting of “The Leaping Horse” by John Constable http://www. codart. nl/images/ConstableLeapingHorseLondonRoyalAcademyW. jpg Photograph of “Valley of the Shadow of Death” by Roger Fenton http://www. loc. gov/pictures/resource/cph. 3g09217/? co=ftncnw