Influences of Art On Photography

On this page i am going to talk about two pieces of art which were produced years apart from each other and how one influenced the other. The two images i am using are from an exhibition called Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present. 

The national gallery explained this exhibition as:

Quote 1:

“The exhibition explores early photography from the mid-19th century and the most exciting contemporary photographs, alongside historical painting. It takes a provocative look at how photographers use fine art traditions, including Old Master painting, to explore and justify the possibilities of their art.

Work by leading photographers such as Martin Parr, Craigie Horsfield, Sam Taylor-Wood, Richard Billingham, Julia Margaret Cameron and Gustave Le Gray will be on display beside key paintings from the National Gallery collection.”

The two images i will be looking at are a painting by Thomas Gainsborough:

Mr and Mrs Andrewsabout 1750 by Thomas Gainsborough

Mr and Mrs Andrews
about 1750 by Thomas Gainsborough

And a photograph by Martin Parr:

Signs of Time, England 1991Martin Parr

Signs of Time, England 1991
Martin Parr

Link of Wealth

This painting definitely inspires the photograph by Martin Parr in many ways.  Firstly lets look at what both of these images are projecting. The painting is projecting wealth and showing us what these two people have/own. Both the people in the image are wearing clothing that projects wealth for there time. The male in the painting is also holding a hunting rifle and has a hunting hound next to him. Hunting was an upper class activity in the times this painting was made. Next lets look at the land, there is a vast amount of land in the painting, this is another thing associated with wealth back in these times.

So how does the painting influence the photograph? Well the photograph also projects wealth in many ways. Both the male and female in the photograph are again wearing clothing that projects wealth. The male looks like a banker/accountant type and the female looks like a secretary both jobs well paid. If you look on the wall near the stairs as well you will see a collection of corkscrews this suggests that the two people in the photograph are wine connoisseurs. This again is an indication of wealth.


The painting also influences the photograph in a way of emotion. In both the painting and the photograph the male and female look emotionless and definitely not happy. In my eyes this is a link through both images that no amount of money can make you happy.

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