#Friday Painting: Émile Joachim Constant Puyo “The Straw Hat”

Émile Joachim Constant Puyo “The Straw Hat” Oil Pigment Print, Cincinnati Art Museum

Today’s painting is a photograph by the French photographer, Émile Joachim Constant Puyo,who lived from 1857 to 1933. I confess that I have never heard of this photographer/artist so chose to feature Émile Puyo’s photograph, “The Straw Hat,” to gain insight into his work and the time when photography was in transition.

Émile Puyo believed that photographs were a form of art when the photograph was fashioned to demonstrate a beauty independent of the subject. That meant that photographs could be manipulated to express individuality. In that way, the photographer was the artist – not the camera, which Émile Puyo considered was an unemotional machine.

Émile Puyo associated with the Photo Club of Paris and was a champion for the practice of photography as an artistic medium.

Today, cameras and photography continue to evolve. They are powerful tools for capturing cultural memory. They document our time and our stories to be recalled in the years that follow.

I would like to think that Émile Puyo would thrive in our world.

Émile Joachim Constant Puyo “The Straw Hat” Oil Pigment Print, Cincinnati Art Museum