Is Photography Art? – IELTS Reading Answers
The Academic passage ‘Is Photography Art?’ is a reading passage that appeared in an IELTS Test.
It contains some of the IELTS reading question types. If you are interested in familiarising yourself with all the question types, don’t hesitate to take an IELTS reading practice test.
Is Photography Art?
|27||C||Paragraph A points out that as we are surrounded by thousands of photographs, most of us ‘take for granted’ that, ‘in addition to supplying information and seducing customers’, camera images also ‘serve as decoration, afford spiritual enrichment, and provide significant insights into the passing scene’. But in the decades following the discovery of photography, this question reflected the ‘search for ways’ (was not readily accepted) to fit ‘the mechanical medium’ (camera) into the ‘traditional schemes’ of ‘artistic expression’ (art form). Hence, the answer is C (Photography has not always been a readily accepted art form).|
|28||D||Paragraph B explains that ‘discussion of the role of photography in art’ was especially ‘spirited in France’, where the ‘’internal policies of the time had created a large pool of artists, but it was ‘also taken up by important voices in England’. In both countries (France and England), ‘public interest’ in ‘this topic’ (role of photography in art) was a ‘reflection’ of the belief that ‘national stature and achievement in the arts were related’ (raises a country’s international profile). Hence, the answer is D (that artist success raised a country’s international profile).|
|29||D||Paragraph D informs that many ‘portrait painters’ – miniaturists in particular – who ‘realized that photography’ represented the ‘handwriting on the wall’ became involved with daguerreotyping or paper photography in an ‘effort to save their careers’ (bad thing that may happen to them); some incorporated it with painting, while others ‘renounced painting altogether’. Hence, the answer is D (a signal that something bad will happen).|
|30||A||Paragraph I reflected the ‘opposition’ of a section of the ‘cultural elite’ (most educated) in England and France to the ‘cheapening of art’ which the ‘growing acceptance and purchase of camera pictures by the middle class represented’. This appeal to the middle class convinced the elite that ‘photographs’ would ‘foster a desire for realism instead of idealism’. Hence, the answer is A (The most educated worried about its impact on public taste).|
|31||E||Paragraph C brings out the fact that from the maze of ‘conflicting statements and heated articles’ (mixed) on the ‘subject’ (photography), ‘three main positions’ (three clear views) about the potential of camera art ‘emerged’. Hence, the answer is E (mixed).|
|32||G||Paragraph C mentions that the simplest theory related to photography entertained by ‘many painters’ (artists) and ‘a section of the public’ (ordinary people), was that ‘photographs should not be considered ‘art’’ because they ‘were made with a mechanical device and by physical and chemical phenomena’ (the way they are produced) instead of ‘by human hand and spirit’ (how paintings were made). Moreover, the second widely held view, shared by painters, some photographers, and some critics, was that ‘photographs’ would be useful to art but ‘should not be considered equal’ (inferior) in ‘creativeness to drawing and painting’. Hence, the answer is G (inferior).|
|33||A||Paragraph C states the second widely held view, shared by painters, some photographers, and some critics, was that photographs would be useful to art but should ‘not be considered equal in creativeness (inventive)’ to drawing and painting. Moreover, in paragraph F, Charles Baudelaire, wrote in 1859, ‘lazy and untalented painters would become photographers’. Hence, the answer is A (inventive).|
|34||C||Paragraph C informs about the third opinion about photography, which is, by assuming that the process was comparable to other techniques such as etching and lithography, a ‘fair number of individuals’ realized that ‘camera images’ (photographs) could be as ‘significant as handmade works of art’ and that they might have a ‘positive’ (beneficial) ‘influence on the arts and on culture in general’. Hence, the answer is C (beneficial).|
|35||B||Paragraph E presents the view that photographs might be worthwhile to artists was ‘enunciated’ (claimed) in considerable detail by ‘Lacan and Francis Wey’. The ‘latter’ (Francis Wey), an art and literary critic, who eventually ‘recognised’ that ‘camera images’ (photographs) could be inspired as well as informative, suggested that they would lead to ‘greater naturalness’ (realistic) in the ‘graphic depiction’ (painting) of anatomy, clothing, likeness, expression, and landscape. Hence, the answer is B (Francis Wey).|
|36||E||Paragraph H notes the most important statement on this matter was an unsigned article that concluded that while photography had a role to play, it should not be ‘constrained’ into ‘competition’ with art; a ‘more stringent viewpoint’ led critic Philip Gilbert Hamerton to dismiss ‘camera images’ as ‘’narrow in range’ (limitation), emphatic in assertion, telling one truth for ten ‘falsehoods’ (deceptions)’. Hence, the answer is E (Philip Gilbert Hamerton).|
|37||A||Paragraph D cites an example of the French painter, ‘Jean- Auguste-Dominique Ingres’, began almost immediately to ‘use photography’ to make a record (documented) of their ‘own output’ (production of artwork). Hence, the answer is A (Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres).|
|38||D||Paragraph G presents that Eugene Delacroix was the most prominent of the French artists who ‘welcomed photography as help-mate’ (noted the potential of photography). Delacroix’s enthusiasm for the medium can be sensed in a journal entry noting that if photographs were used as they should be, ‘an artist might ‘raise himself to heights that we do not yet know’’ (enrich artistry talent). Hence, the answer is D (Eugene Delacroix).|
|39||A||Paragraph D tells about the French painter, ‘Jean- Auguste-Dominique Ingres’, began almost immediately to use ‘photography’ to make a record of their own output and also to provide themselves with source material for poses and backgrounds (based some of the scenes in his painting on photographs). Hence, the answer is A (Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres).|
|40||C||Paragraph F provided information on ‘French critic and poet Charles Baudelaire’ who ‘regarded photography’ as ‘a very humble servant of art and science’; a medium largely unable to transcend ‘external reality’. For this critic, photography was ‘linked with ‘the great industrial madness’ of the time’ (trend towards greater mechanisation), which in his eyes ‘exercised disastrous consequences on the spiritual qualities of life and art’. Hence, the answer is C (Charles Baudelaire).|
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