When in the first half of the 19th century photography entered the world of science, and then art, there was a kind of revolution – not only in culture but in aesthetic philosophy and in ways of depicting both the real and the imaginary. The development of cameras and the means of rendering images ever closer to what was photographed was extremely rapid, and if indeed art chose to move towards the abstract and the conceptual the merit, or as some would have it the fault, belonged in large part to photography. “Following the advent of photography, painting lost its historical documentary role” (M. Lupatelli).
The celebratory and documentary function was thus taken on by photography. Kings and popes stood for the camera in classical poses just as they would once have posed before the portrait painter. City-scapes and people’s changing habits were made famous by photographic images whose reproduction in newspapers and on film disseminated knowledge and awareness, making the world a smaller place.
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