Famous painters copied photographs

06 noviembre 2006

(English version) No invention of the Industrial Revolution influenced Impressionism more than the camera. Most of the Impressionists had cameras and experimented with their new images. Photography inspired impressionists to capture the moment, but did you know that some of the most famous paintings of Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec or Paul Gauguin were inspired on an original photograph? Here you have some interesting examples:

1. Paul Gauguin

Fotografía de Henry Lemasson, y la obra Madre e hija, de Gauguin
2. Paul Cezanne

Bañista, de Paul Cezanne
3. Toulouse Lautrec

La Troupe, de Toulouse Lautrec Pareja en un bar, 1891 Jane Avril
4. Vincent Van Gogh

La madre del pintor, 1888
Retrato del pintor belga E. Boch, 1888
5. Edgar Degas

Bailarinas detrás del escenario: montaje y cuadroDespués del baño, 1896El Vizconde Lepic con sus hijas y su perro AlbrecktEnsayo de ballet con escalera de caracol. 1877
More info: Impressionism and photography
See also: 1, 2, 3, 4 y 5

27 Respuestas ( Deja un comentario )

  1. Bonez dijo...
  2. I liked this. Thank you for the examples of famous art inspired by not so famous photography. I guess I had always imagined these artists pulled from their own imaginations or even live models but not photographs. Nowadays, they would probably get sued by the photographer for plagiarism :)

  3. Antonio Martínez Ron dijo...
  4. Thank you, Tony. good point!

  5. dr. adder dijo...
  6. the two paintings of dancers by Toulouse Lautrec are not good examples - the photos are of typical poses that would be seen on stage. The photographer and Lautrec are both recording what they had seen.

  7. Antonio Martínez Ron dijo...
  8. Well, maybe you're right, but researchers don't think so. I agree with you, anyway, those pics are the worst examples.

  9. Bereni-C dijo...
  10. Ai am fliping for a tiub... Bueno, en serio, me he quedao de piedra. Nunca lo hubiera imaginado.

    Chico, qué cosas más interesantes descubrimos a través de tu blog.

  11. Antonio Martínez Ron dijo...
  12. thank you Bereni! ;-) nice to see you

  13. Anónimo dijo...
  14. I had a college-level art instructor that basically told me that my work would amount to nothing if I worked from photographs. I'm glad to see evidence that she was wrong.

  15. Anónimo dijo...
  16. I think Degas took some of those pictures himself. Degas worked from his own photos and from the photos of others. So what's the big deal?

  17. Antonio Martínez Ron dijo...
  18. Yes, Degas took the photographs himself and had a kind of bad obsession with photography. And there´s nothing wrong in it, but most of the artists hid the photographs or destroyed them, because many people would think their paintings were "less artistic" if they were inspired on a picture.

  19. Birdseed dijo...
  20. I'm not sure about the others, but does anyone notice what a marvellous photographer Degas was? His photographs are of incredible quality, right up there with the paintings I think!

  21. Anónimo dijo...
  22. It's very logical approach.

    "Art style of sansations which awakened by impression."
    Impressionism Art Encyclopedia, Maurice Serullas, pg.7

    For more explanation: impressionist generally catch "moments" from daily life, nature etc. By catching single "moment", they turn it to art by stylizing themselves and exposing differential effects of light. In that case photograph is a key to "catch the moment".

    Actually, invention date of photo machine is nearly same period with born of impressionism. It is big probability that most impressionists (not all of them) take advantages of photography.

    Written by Laden Uyguroglu
    Post by Baris Parlan

  23. Linda Watson dijo...
  24. Terrific subject. Thanks so much.

  25. Anónimo dijo...
  26. Very interesting comparison!

  27. Anónimo dijo...
  28. @Dr. A.
    You said, "the two paintings of dancers by Toulouse Lautrec are not good examples - the photos are of typical poses that would be seen on stage. The photographer and Lautrec are both recording what they had seen."

    Except for the fact the latter example is an actual photograph of Jane Avril, who the poster was made for. Do a little research before you spew.

  29. Anónimo dijo...
  30. I've just been hanging out doing nothing, but eh. I just don't have anything to say recently. I don't care. Whatever. My mind is like a void. I haven't gotten anything done lately.

    Medicine Blog

  31. Anónimo dijo...
  32. Very interesting blog. Congratulations!

    C Briquet

  33. Manuela Valenti dijo...
  34. Very nice!
    That shows that what many artists (me included) do today was already being done a long time ago.
    I do to take my own pictures which I later use to create my works.
    Nice blog!


  35. Judith D'Agostino dijo...
  36. Hi Tony,
    I am sure you are familiar with the book "The Painter of the Photographer" by Van Deren Coke. However, maybe some of your viewers have not. It gives example after example of artist who use photography starting way back when....
    Thanks for bringing this up.
    Judith D'Agostino

  37. Anónimo dijo...
  38. It was also proved that the dutch masters painted most of their giant paintings from camera obscura projections. the perspective is different where they had to shift the camera projection downward.



  39. Anónimo dijo...
  40. Thank you. This was very inspiring. I think it is worth knowing that great art has come along, often on the basis of some prior work or visual device (e.g., Vermeer and camera obscura, etc.).

    What is the status of copyright law on artists deriving a painting on the basis of another individual's photographs?

    It would be interesting to know which of the examples you present were based on photos of the artist's own photographs.

    I have to say that Degas' dancers were most definitely sketched and painted directly from the photograph.


  41. Anónimo dijo...
  42. Good JOb! :)

  43. Anónimo dijo...
  44. Thank you for this collection, and for showing how some of the most important artists of the century used reference works to create their art.

  45. Anónimo dijo...
  46. Thank you-
    I appreciate this post. I use photographs as reference and have been torn (ethically) about it in the past. This does not put the ethics tension to rest, but validates the process- at least to me.

  47. pressure vessels dijo...
  48. what a great post. this pictures are amazing. thanks for sharing.

  49. Sauron dijo...
  50. Don't forget Richard Upton Pickman. He worked from a photo.

  51. Allen dijo...
  52. I came to your blog just when I was surfing on this topic. I am happy that I found your blog and information I wanted.

  53. Emrys Eustace, hygt Broom dijo...
  54. Great article.

    Too bad about the anonymous (and therefore cowardly) jab about the Jane Avril photo - as you said, it is indeed rather generic, hardly an exact basis for the poster in question.

    Thanks much.

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