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Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard…
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Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard (Phillips…

by Elizabeth Easton

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A timely exhibition about the ancestors of Instagram when photography started to become mobile and cheap enough to capture the unimportant and the trivial. As always, new technology is used quickly to snap pictures of naked humans too. Thus, the mix of the early snapshots of the trivial moments of public and private life as well as utilitarian snapshots that served as models for later paintings. While photography already beat paintings in accuracy, it still lacked color. What a contrast between the b/w photos taken by the Dutch version of Whistler, George Henrik Breitner, and his paintings on the same subject.

What is still missing from these snapshots, is compositional mastery. The basic rules of good photographic composition were not yet developed. Thus, many of the pictures taken are of a throw-away nature, imperfect almost impressionistic captures of moments long past. Canaletto was not among their inspirations. Their focus was not representation but catching a small moment in an image, preserving the trivial for eternity. Will future generations look in wonder at our trivial Instagram pictures? ( )
  jcbrunner | May 31, 2013 |
This is a book about the impact of the dawn of photography on a group of late nineteenth century artists known as the Nabis. The examination focuses on photographs taken by the artists themselves, the reasons the images were taken and the influence of those images on their artworks (and sometimes vice versa). In some cases, the influence is very direct (where the artist copies on of their photographs), while in others the influence is more opaque - a general feel for light and composition in the photographs is noted also in the artworks. The major insight is in how, even with a very direct influence, the artist often improves on the photograph in purely painterly terms - demonstrating the notion that photography simply killed of representative art is too simplistic. The great fascination of the book is in how the photographs reveal an immediate in intimate knowledge of the artists and of the works they created. ( )
  freelancer_frank | May 12, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300172362, Hardcover)

The advent of the Kodak camera in 1888 made photography accessible to amateurs as well as to professionals. Artists were not immune to its allure, and many began experimenting with the camera as a means of observing the world and capturing their own images of it. Snapshot investigates seven Post-Impressionist painters and printmakers: Pierre Bonnard, George Hendrik Breitner, Maurice Denis, Henri Evenepoel, Henri Rivière, Félix Vallotton, and Edouard Vuillard. Although celebrated for their works on canvas and paper, these artists also made many personal and informal snapshots. Depicting interiors, city streets, nudes, and portraits, these photographs were kept private and never exhibited. As a result, most have never been seen by the public.

Juxtaposing personal photographs with related paintings and prints by these Post-Impressionist artists, Snapshot offers a new perspective on early photography and on the synthesis of painting, printmaking, and photography at the end of the 19th century.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:14 -0400)

"The advent of the Kodak camera in 1888 made photography accessible to amateurs as well as to professionals. Artists were not immune to its allure, and many began experimenting with the camera as a means of capturing images as studies for final works and of observing the world and the people in it. Snapshot investigates seven Post-Impressionist painters and printmakers: Pierre Bonnard, George Hendrik Breitner, Maurice Denis, Henri Evenepoel, Henri Riviere, Felix Vallotton, and Edouard Vuillard. Although celebrated for their works on canvas and paper, these artists also made many personal and informal snapshots. Depicting interiors, city streets, nudes, and portraits, these photographs were kept private and never exhibited. As a result, most have never been published. Juxtaposing personal photographs with the related paintings and prints by these Post-Impressionist artists, Snapshot offers a new perspective on early photography and on the synthesis of painting and photography at the end of the 19th century"--… (more)

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