The invention and blossoming of photography coincided with the Victorian era and photography had an enormous influence on how Victorians saw the world. We will see how photography developed and how it raised issues concerning its role and purpose and questions about whether it was an art.
The photographic revolution put portrait painters out of business and created a new form of portraiture. Many photographers tried various methods and techniques to show it was an art in its own right. It changed the way we see the world and brought the inaccesible, exotic and erotic into the home. It enabled historic events, famous people and exotic places to be seen for the first time and the century ended with the first moving images which ushered in a whole new form of entertainment.
The talk is complementary to the exhibition ‘Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography’ at the National Portrait Gallery from 1 March to 20 May 2018.