JAIC 1985, Volume 24, Number 2, Article 4 (pp. 92 to 103)
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Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1985, Volume 24, Number 2, Article 4 (pp. 92 to 103)

PAINTINGS ON A PHOTOGRAPHIC BASE

Mervyn Ruggles



3 SCOPE OF THIS STUDY

IN AN ATTEMPT TO SATISFY increasingly exacting demands on their clients, photographers added touches of color to cheeks, lips, backgrounds and gold paint to jewelry5 endeavouring to inject more realism to their portraits. In order to enhance landscape photographs, frequently a sky from one photo, trees from another, and figures from a third would be combined like a collage and re-photographed.6 To many artists, the daguerreotype or photograph was looked upon merely as another tool, much as the camera obscura7 had been used as a guide in perspective and for positioning various details in paintings for centuries. In the beginning of the 19th century, the camera lucida,8 an instrument with a prism viewing device, had become popular with artists as an aid in drawing and making sketches. Basil Hall (1788–1844), after a tour in North America in 1827–28, published in England, in 1830, an album entitled, “Forty Etchings from Sketches made with a Camera Lucida,” stating “ … the camera lucida is a valuable instrument, it enables a person to make correct outlines of scenes.”9 However, copying, tinting, superimposed collages or the use of the photo as a tool are not the concern of the present study. It is the aim of this paper to pursue particularly the development of the painted image, where the photograph itself becomes the schema, the sinopia, the underdrawing of a painting executed by a professional artist.


Copyright 1985 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works