Pictorialism and Sartorial Symbolism: A Poetic Response to Modernity at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
More Info: Mihalic, Alicia (2018) ‘Pictorialism and Sartorial Symbolism: A Poetic Response to Modernity at the Turn of the Twentieth Century’. in Boultwood, A. and Hindle, S. (eds.) Culture, Costume and Dress: The Proceedings of the 1st International Conference. Birmingham and Shanghai: Gold Word Publishing. pp. 65-68.
Page Numbers: 65-68
Publication Date: 2018
Abstract: With its focus on the achievement of painterly effects in photography , the international Pictorialist movement sought to employ various techniques and aesthetic approaches in order to capture images of landscapes and delicate feminine beauty within perfectly composed atmospheric settings. Facing the turn of the twentieth century, a time when the development of new media was closely linked to the demand for accuracy of recordings as well as to the industrialization of the society as a whole, the work of Pictorialist artists represented, at the same time, both an avant-garde and a conservative response to progressive photographic tendencies. In accordance with such values, the Pictorialist representation of human figure required the use of accompanying dress forms with the ability to convey idyllic elegance, innocence and performativity of its subjects. Through the analysis of intersections between dress and photography as related aspects of visual culture, the aim of this paper is to employ an interdisciplinary approach in order to reconsider particular sartorial forms of creative expression. Questions will be raised regarding certain departures from the restrictive conventional fashions as well as elements related to the presence of historical revivalism. Further on, the study will contextualize certain extensions of nineteenth-century concept of Artistic Dress and refer to sartorial expression of Pictorialist photographers from the aspects of marginal clothing discourses and anti-fashion.