14 March 2010

Paintings copied from photographs

I've previously written a post about Vermeer and Caravaggio possibly having used the camera obscura to create some of their famous paintings.   Other painters are apparently well known to have photographed their subject or to have used someone else's photograph.  

Pictured above is Paul Gauguin's "Mother and Daughter" and the Henry LeMasson photograph that served as its model.  Other examples are compiled here and discussed in detail (with an occasionally acrimonious comment thread) here.

I don't think these discoveries or acknowledgemens lessen the quality or importance of the artists' work.  To me, they are just using the technology of the time to ease and enhance production of the work.


  1. I don't think it should lessen the works in any way either, though for those of us who went to art school and were constantly told to "never paint from a photograph" it's a slight bit of justice for all those times we said "screw you."

  2. Wow! I use to read your blog every week and now I find a link to Fogonazos right here! That's nice :-) Thanks for linking.

  3. wellllllllllllllllllllllllll

    It doesn't necessarily lessen the importance of the works, it does explain the flatness. The reason art students are told not to only work with photos is it affects our the way a person translates the dimensions they are viewing onto the canvas which is why others may have a beef with it.


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