Photography & Cinema

The 19th century saw the emergence of new techniques for producing images: photography and film. Both developed rapidly in the years leading up to 1914. While photography very soon became a democratic medium, becoming popular in the 1880s, it also fascinated artists and photographer-artists – although it had its opponents too. In the 1890s the disputed question “Is photography an art?” aroused interest in its aesthetic aspects. Alexandre, the best-known Belgian photographer of the time, belonged to the “pictorialist” movement that had started in England; the photographers in question concentrated on the aesthetics of the image. Alexandre worked with Fernand Khnopff on his enhanced photographs. In 1895 the first cinematic screenings took place. The medium developed even more rapidly than photography and the first feature films were made before 1914. From now on, photography and film would influence how artists saw things and thus affect the development of the fine arts, which fully embraced these new means of expression in the course of the 20th century.