book reading – History of Modern Art

By: H.H.Arnason, Marla F.Prather

(What’s better than reading a book on Sunday while half of your face is swollen from a bee sting? 🙂

P31 – Realism, Impressionism, and Early Photography

A prolific writer, as well as caricaturist, hot-air balloon photographer, and dynamic man about Paris, Nadar wrote in 1856:

Photography is a marvelous discovery, a science that has attracted the greatest intellects, and art that excites the most astute minds – and one that can be practiced by any imbecile….Photographic theory can be taught in an hour, the basic technique in a day. But what cannot be taught is the feeling for light….It is how light lies on the face that you as artist must capture. Nor can one be taught how to grasp the personality of the sitter. To produce an intimate likeness rather than a banal portrait, the result of mere chance, you must put yourself at once in communion with the sitter, size up his thoughts and his very character.

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