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Assess the impact of photography on the 19th century political and social landscape

Problem:

Assess the impact of photography on the 19th century political and social landscape. How did it affect paintings? Use one example from Gardner's Art through the Ages and one from the Internet.

Compare Manet's Olympia to Millais's Ophelia. Discuss how each work represents the artist and his period. Use one example from Gardner's Art through the Ages and one from the Internet.

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Answer:
The development of photography not only had an impact on the socio-political landscape of the 19th century, it also affected the progression of art and painting as well.
In terms of socio-political impact, photography allowed for documentary, recording the reality of historic events, and aided in communication and information management. Photography appealed to the growing middle class, which was becoming more powerful and influential, because it was understandable and less expensive than painting. News could be spread more accurately to the masses. This suited a public that was "founded on hard facts and mass production" (Kleiner, p. 358) and increasingly interested in the truth of the political landscape and straightforward reality. (Buser, p. 207) It also allowed for the "moralizing" of information. (Buser, p. 41) While photography documented the visual truth of the subject, framing, lighting, and content could elicit emotional responses (i.e. "the high price of war", Kleiner, p. 360). Photographs could stir patriotism, instill sympathy and concern for the poor and the ill, and it could persuade people to follow or reject points of view (propaganda) (Kleiner, p. 358). According to Gibert, after having a portrait taken by Matthew Brady before an important speech at the college of Cooper Union, Abraham Lincoln once stated the "Brady and the Cooper Union speech made me president." (Getlein, p. 205)
In terms of art, photography caused many to question the very nature of what art was and is. If not capturing nature (visual fidelity), then what was its purpose? (Getlein, p. 29) While the some of the benefits to painting included making artwork more famous (now the masses could see artwork that had previously been ...

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The solution assesses the impact of photography on the 19th century political and social landscape.

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