3.3.10 Pictorialism and Naturalism

The above image, taken between 1900 and 1910 by Robert Demachy (founding member of the Photo-Club de Paris) and titled "Oude Rijn," captures the beauty of a landscape in Holland and reflects the philosophical ideas circulated by movements toward pictorialism and naturalism during the late 1800's.

As the public became fascinated with photography and the masses gained access to the ability to take photographs, many artists attempted to validate their skills and seperate snapshooters from professionals. By inaugurating art schools and offering certificate courses in photography the pictorialist movement sought to elevate the status of photographic art. The movement was based upon the core idea that images could engage senses and emotions in a "naturalistic manner." In the above image, Demachy provides a soft, non-detailed view with a sort of painterly quality, and his style very much reflects the principles of the movement which he helped lead.

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