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Photographic Influence on Degas Work

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 10:14 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 40.6 
  • Words: 1638
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What, if any impact did photography play in the role of arts ‘evolution’, in particular, what impact did photography have in the works of the impressionist painters. Two obviously conflicting opinions arise through texts by ‘Aaron Scharf’ and ‘Kirk Vanerdoe’. Scharf argues that the impact of ‘snapshot photography’ and the invention and wide distribution of portable camera’s had a significant influence on the works of the painter ‘Degas’. Vanerdoe takes the opportunity to question what makes an influence significant, and tends to see the creation of Impressionism stem from earlier art movements. Then comes the question, what, if any arguments are valid, what arguments are opinions and what can be sieved down to fact.

The truth of it all is that many of these opinions that are displayed can neither be proved nor disproved, and therefore any analysis must be taken with a grain of salt. However it appears as though Vanerdoe has taken the less hospitable route, resulting at times to personal attacks, as well as blanket statements of which may not answer a question raised by Scharf, but rather simply a personal attack. It is in these statements we see a very passionate Vanerdoe, but also lose faith in his ability to keep together a reasoned and structured argument. Vanerdoe’s beginning argument for example, ‘¹this line of thinking however is inaccurate and misleading’ the basis for his essay, and way of thinking to come. It is from this we see Vanerdoe try and reason that, photographical influence isn’t substantial enough, yet no attempt at defining substantial has been made, that therefore leads me to conclude that, substantiality in the case of Vanerdoe’s essay must continue as a buzz-word. I would asses the word substantial as the dictionary does ‘Considerable in importance’ and therefore Vanerdoe considers that the photographic influence is not considerable in importance. What levels of significance then does photography play in the role of art work...


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