“Painting With Light” at Tate Britain

The whole long title of this exhibition is “Painting With Light – Art and Photography from the Pre-Raphaelites to the Modern Age”. Since I believe that photography is an art – like painting or sculpture or graphic prints – the title may feel somehow a little misguided.

On the famous other hand, the exhibition covers a period of art history during which photography wasn’t broadly considered an art form.


As a matter of fact the aim is to show the visitor how closely the two have been in certain circles and how they interacted with each other through individual pioneers and small innovative milieus in both fields.

The show counts 90 pairings of paintings and photographs with striking similarities – never before displayed together.

It’s a very very fine educational exhibition that I warmly recommend. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take pictures there so I can’t show you my impressions. Funnily, however, lots of the works are on Google images

But check things out on the above link as well as Tate’s in-depth info – here with direct comparisons.

Here is a very informative pre-exhibition article in Aesthetica. And here is a, rather critical review in The Telegraph arguing that this exhibition is more like a dry academic textbook than a lively exhibition.

I can’t judge; I just found all the juxtapositions of paintings and photography over 75 years very illuminating of a theme that has only become more and more important ever since and shows how art creators inspire and build on each other across media they choose.

Closes on September 25, 2016.


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