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Camera was not the enemy of painting!

It was photography that paved the way for impressionism...

Even if the general idea is that the impressionism movement was born to compete with camera, the fact was quite the opposite! When in the 19th century Paris, the young impressionist painters, like Monet, Degas, Pissarro, Renoir and many others, were struggling to get a toe-hold in the world of art, the Salon ruled them out as lunatics trying to claim unfinished clumsy splatter of paint to be artworks!

Since they usually were rejected by the Jury year after year, they could not display their paintings for the public. Naturally, they were desperate to find some alternate way.

Interestingly, during that time, camera was a newfound weapon for the people. And an acclaimed caricaturist-cum-novelist turned photographer was Nadar. He was an adventurer too. His targeted the balloon!

Nadar was one of first balloonist in the history of mankind who tried the camera for aerial photography! As he climbed great height and looked at the city down there, something strange resonated with his vision. He took photographs of the scene below.

Interestingly, Nadar discovered that the houses and people and the road as well as the trees indeed looked grainy. They resembled the grainy patches of paint on the canvas of the impressionist. In fact, thanks to the lack of clarity in the photographs taken by the early camera, the impressionist paintings appeared similar to the photographs!

Nadar began to see the novelty in impressionist paintings. The artists became his friends and eventually, he offered them his space on the bank of the river Seine, a prestigious and prominent location, for holding an exhibition. In the year 1874, the first impressionist show was held, just because of CAMERA, not as an answer to CAMERA!

It is another story that the show did not improve the status of the 'Lunatics' but definitely proved to be a gigantic step towards shaking the convention of the day!

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