Equestrian Potraiture In Early Photography Essay

1207 words - 5 pages

Booker T. Washington on Horseback taken by the American photographer Arthur P.Bedou in 1915 follows the canons of formal and equestrian portraiture. Equestrian imagery has been seen in art throughout history in a myriad of different mediums. Examples can be seen in 10th century West African bronze sculptures all the way to 17th century Baroque European canvases. When we, the viewers see a figure mounted on a horse we can’t help but think of war or power, as we should in most cases. Roland Barthes wrote, “What founds the nature of Photography is the pose.” so when Arthur Bedou took the photograph of Booker T. Washington on a horse in 1915 it’s difficult to think that he didn’t carefully pose Washington in order to convey a specific message. Arthur Bedou was a French Creole known for his unique developing techniques, portraits, and landscapes. Booker T. Washington hired him to be his traveling photographer during his last speaking engagements in the South.
In order to fully understand the correlation between the pose and the model we must discuss the Booker T. Washington’s importance in American politics. Washington was not only Tuskegee Institute’s president but also a political leader who campaigned for blacks to achieve economic equality with whites. He believed that if African- Americans went to vocational schools to learn industrial and farming skills they could start working for themselves and maybe then they would win over the white community’s respect. Reflecting on his beliefs one can argue that he wasn’t a radical, he accepted that segregation and discrimination was a way of life in the nation however if African-American continued to be the driving force behind hard labor they would soon earn equal rights. Booker T. Washington was a different kind of reformer, his methods were practical, he wasn’t feared however he was strong and adamantly pursued his beliefs. This photograph perfectly embodies Washington’s attributes. In this photograph there isn’t much going on, you see a well-dressed Washington mounted on a horse in the foreground. In the background you see what’s probably the stable or farmhouse’s entrance behind him. The horse is calm and Booker seems to be in control of the animal. There’s a connected feeling between the Washington and the horse but also with us the viewers. Booker’s gaze isn’t fixed on anything in particular however he does seem pensive. Another interesting characteristic of this photograph is that the horse isn’t struggling against the rider.
The photographer Arthur Bedou must have known the impact of the iconic equestrian portrait. The way a viewing audience is affected a figure on horseback, and how over time it became an emblem of power in politics as well as war. Equestrian portraits however have a long history of showing an untamed or spirited horse and a very confident rider, to further highlight the leader’s abilities. For example the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome is both aesthetically...

Find Another Essay On Equestrian Potraiture in Early Photography

Assese the Military and Social Roles of Centurions in Roman Society during the Early Empire

1230 words - 5 pages improved status and wealth. Under Augustus a regular centurion received 3750 denarii per year, a primi ordines 7500 denarii and the primus pilus 15000 denarii. Centurions such as the primus pilus retired into the equestrian class with both status and wealth. Some became tribunes in Roman city garrisons of praetorian, urban and vigile cohorts or even receive procuratorships. However Alston claimed, "The army was a limited avenue of social mobility and

History of Photography in the United States

3607 words - 14 pages knowledge that women had the ability to do something just as well as men could, gave them inspiration to succeed in photography, as well as life.Photojournalism was an extreme boost for the awareness of the people as well as the economy and growing social issues. Photographs were being included in newspapers just in time for the Gilded Age (late eighteen hundreds) and Progressive Era (late eighteen hundreds through early nineteen hundreds). This

Light Through the Lens

1310 words - 6 pages Next, we have the golden rule. The golden rule, is also known as the golden mean, and it is a more complex tool. Most professional photographers use this, but if you take this upon to learn, it will help you out dramatically. I believe it is one of the hardest things to learn in photography. The Golden Mean defines a spiral pattern that shows up repeatedly in nature, in everything from a nautilus sea shell, to a sunflower, to the spiral form of

The Art of Photography

1452 words - 6 pages to write with light. (“Sutherland, Crystal. "History of Photography." Review. 23 June 2011: n. page. Print.”) Photography has made it to the 1900’s ! Lewis Hine was a well known photographer from 1910’s -1940’s . He was a documentary photographer to raise awareness about America culture in the early 19th century. He took pictures of factories and industries being started across America. One of the things he was famous for photographing was he

Taking A Look Through The Lens

740 words - 3 pages Taking A Look Through The Lens As Ansel Adams says, “You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, and the people you have loved ” (301 Quotes). There are many careers in photography, today. A career in photography will bring many benefits to a person’s career , not to mention there are a variety of careers available

Photography: The History and Everyday Use

1974 words - 8 pages convex lens to make the image clearer and have better quality, and later, a mirror to view the image down upon a flat viewing surface. In his book, Magiae Naturalis, written in 1558, Giovanni recommended this variation of the device to artists, as it could be used as an aid for drawing subjects or scenery . Although used for numerous years, the device had never been truly named until the early 17th century, when the German astronomer Johannes

The Importance of Photography

1112 words - 4 pages , backgrounds, platforms, and colorful objects to grab the animals’ attention (pg26). Event photography is quite different than portraiture, although the two share common aspects (pg26). Weddings are by far the most common events for photographers to record (pg28). The birth of modern photography was invented by Louis Daguerre. In 1829, he formed a partnership with Joseph Nicephore Niepce to improve the process Niepce had developed. In the early


1619 words - 6 pages all come from photography. Though all these aspects of photography are amazing in themselves, the true element of photography that made it such an impactful advancement in the humanities was its ability to capture a moment in time, and give the middle-class an understandable and relatively cheap new artistic medium. Though the discovery that an image could reflect on to another surface came around in the early fifth century (Hirsh, 2000), it

Photography in Advertising and its Effects on Society

3696 words - 15 pages Photography in Advertising and its Effects on Society Memory has been and always will be associated with images. As early as 1896, leading psychologists were arguing that memory was nothing more than a continuous exchange of images. (Bergson) Later models of memory describe it as more of an image text; a combination of space and time, and image and word. (Yates) Although image certainly is not the only component of memory, it is

Photography of Objectification

1537 words - 7 pages philosophers have considered photography in terms of both bodies depicted and its relationship to the bodies of the viewer and of the photographer. Early scientific use of photography highlighted its significance in understanding the human body such as when photographers like Etienne-Jules Marey and Muybridge considered photography as an opportunity to study animal and human locomotion. Through their work, they offered a vision of things which had

Photography: Society’s Views Through the Ages

1389 words - 6 pages taken. (“Photography (1815-1850),”). However, many painters were among those against photography in the early days. Many painters felt threatened by the new technology, thinking that it would steal their livelihood. Paul Delaroche, a painter at the time of Daguerre even said, “From today, painting is dead,” after having seen his first photograph (Lewis). Society’s views on photography at the time were definitely very mixed, but there definitely

Similar Essays

History Of Photography And Its Influences

932 words - 4 pages work we need separate scientific objects that we knew existed but it was a matter of combining these items. Oddly enough, since these separate entities were known by much of the people, photography could have been born much earlier, as early as the 1500’s.One of the most notable inventions was the camera obscura, which in easier terms was simply a “dark room”. The camera obscura was not imaginative and lacked any personal artistic

Donatello: A Pioneer In The Enlightenment

1196 words - 5 pages biblical story of David and Goliath. David in this statue is standing completely naked other than his boots, his hat, and Goliath's sword. The second piece is The Equestrian Statue of Gattamelata, made after the death of the famed "condottieri" Erasmo da Narni. This piece portrays Gattamelata on his horse looking down on Padua. Both of these pieces are evidences of the change from the centralized religious ideals of the Middle Ages to the realistic and

Donatello Essay

1196 words - 5 pages biblical story of David and Goliath. David in this statue is standing completely naked other than his boots, his hat, and Goliath's sword. The second piece is The Equestrian Statue of Gattamelata, made after the death of the famed "condottieri" Erasmo da Narni. This piece portrays Gattamelata on his horse looking down on Padua. Both of these pieces are evidences of the change from the centralized religious ideals of the Middle Ages to the realistic and

Progression Of Photography Essay

1700 words - 7 pages and 1s as opposed to the mechanical and chemical operation in the traditional cameras. The cameras that operate based on this principle are known as digital cameras and the art of making digital images is called digital photography. Works Cited "Digital Photography." Digital - Photography - Tips. Web. 18 Feb. 2011. http://www.digital-photography-tips.net/history-of-digital-phtography-early-days.html. "History of Photography." About