Monday, October 1, 2018

Francesco Paolo Michetti's Use of Photography

The use of photography was a big turning point for for Francesco Paolo Michetti (Italian 1851-1929). 

With photography, "I stole from nature more than a secret," as Michetti put it, so much so that it gave me "a new vision of art and life."

Michetti made excursions to villages around Naples specifically to acquire photographic reference, capturing countless human types on film: from peasants to priests, children and women with their innumerable expressions, from laughter to tears, from joy to melancholy.

A trove of photos by Michetti and his artist friends came to light in 1966, discovered in a former convent-turned-studio. Many of the photos document village festivals or daily life "in the wild" in rural Italy. 

Other photos by Michetti show models in the controlled conditions of the studio. He shot not only still photographs, but also stereoscopic images, and a film (now lost) 

For Michetti, the archive of photos provided a sense of authenticity and naturalness that he was not able to achieve any other way.
Online Articles: Francesco Paolo Michetti: Photography as an Aid in Painting


Tom Hart said...
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Tom Hart said...

It seems as if the use of photography by artists went through a cycle of acceptance, then a sort of disdain, and now once again a general recognition of its value as a tool in picture making. i'm not quite sure of the reason for that middle period in which it was considered a sort of cheating, although I think that illustrators never doubted its value.