Pictorialism Redux

A recent post from RFOTOFOLIO featured a selection of images – some vintage, some more recent – in the style of Pictorialism. Pictorialism was a style that dominated photography in Europe and America around the turn of the Twentieth Century. Alfred Steiglitz and the Photo Secessionists in New York were instrumental in promoting Pictorialism.

The international movement known as Pictorialism represented both a photographic aesthetic and a set of principles about photography’s role as art. Pictorialists believed that photography should be understood as a vehicle for personal expression on par with the other fine arts. … In order to further photography’s acceptance as an art, Pictorialists embraced the medium’s painterly qualities. They often preferred romantic or idealized imagery over the documentation of modern life, welcoming artistic composition and soft focus.

The Art Institute of Chicago | The Alfred Steiglitz Collection | “Pictorialism”

I did a collection of images a while ago that I hoped would emulate the Pictorialist style. Although I was processing images digitally, I wanted to produce a natural aesthetic and soft focus in what we today refer to as “vintage.” Even though these are, at best, “imitation pictorialist,” there is nevertheless a lot to be said for this style. Here is a small gallery of my “pictorialist” images.

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