On Painting and Photography

Either painting either photography is part of the much broader human communication system generally called ``imagery''.

The common container tells us that there is without any reasonable doubt a family culprit in both.

At a first sight things stop here. Each imagery technique has it's own workflows.

So how could we get some profit from lecturing history of painting (and most important seeing them) regarding to photography.

The first problem is that art historians are not that aware of the photographic workflow, it is funny how respectfull are historians regarding ancient painting techniques while getting to absymal obvious regarding to photography. So eccept few cases do not expect a clear path, you have to find out your own.

A good support, at least for me, has been the reading of John Berger's writings. Looking at paintings the way they were conceived and for the use they were thought out gives you a lot of liberty margins to freely move trought the time.

Since this is a blog I will leave a lot to reader's own initiative in getting deeper here and there. I do not pretend to give out explanations but only to show pointers.

Conclusion will all be yours.

Being it analogical or digital modern photography workflow can been subdived in phases. The biggest reference here is Ansel Adams in his trilogy ``The negative'', ``The Camera'' and ``The print''.

Invention, Taking, Post processing/Printing, Circulation.

Invention subsumes any kind of action, theory or else used to get to the decision of actually taking the picture. I borrowed the term from Leonardo Da Vinci ``inventio'' as used in his ``treatise on painting''. ``Inventio'' includes previsualization as practiced by Ansel Adams. Printing is any kind of stable projection of the image on a support (or format) suitable for the desired circulation. Inventio is more on the side of finding and assembling things in inespected ways instead of creating them ex nihlo.

Circulation: an example of a possible reuse of history of painting

Circulation. Looking into history there have been several changes in the way imagery of various type has been circulated. One of the most important, also from the point of view of photography, has been the introduction of the canvas between XV and XVI century.

As usual in those times things of culture happened in Holland or in Italy (Venice in the specific case). Rich traders had the necessity to show their own status to correspondants living far away (in relation to the times). The introduction of the canvas gave to painting a way to travel or to be exchanged, a thing frescoes could not do. Painting demand was baked by the will to show to others or more privately admire the owner's possesions from where they were painded. But most important, instead of representing desirable objects paintings become objects of desire by themselves. Objects of desire where precious and rare objects, pieces of owned land (landscape) and females.

A connected area of study could be the naissance of the phenomenon of copying. A mobile image if one that can also be locally copied. We know that a lot of painters started their work by copying other ones paintings. Some as a job some for emulation and study.

The XVIII/XIX century English painter ``Turner'' started copying as a job.

The relation between desirabilty of the displayed content and the object itself (the image) is one of the valued and recognised ambiguities in photography.

Most of photography is about the display of objects of desire.

A photo can be an object of desire itself at what conditions ? Some times ago Mark Hobston pointed out the question of size. There is a funny connection between image size and lanscape. Both have a common ancestor in real estate, in painting it has been true too.

But most important. For whom a photo itself could be an object of desire ?

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