Issue: 01/2020
Author: Manish Sehrawat

This article addresses the historical development of Pictorialism that has created dichotomy in the photography world in the time of Alfred Stieglitz. Pictorialism initiated in Victorian aesthetics and discards the pure photographic technique and view point in favour of an apparently superficial imitation of other graphic mediums. The style became an art standard from the 1870s to the 1910s. Julia Margaret and Gertrude Kasebier worked with special lenses to produce softer images, including cyanotype or platinum print and used the strength of its aesthetic effect. We explain how Pictorialism got noticed as an art form, and ultimately, how photographic style was used to create poetic, expressive communication, and made photographs look like paintings – aspects which remain of importance for artistic photography.

Keywords: Pictoralism, art, aesthetics, analog photography, history

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