Is this really a photograph? 15 awesome photos from early XX century that look like paintings

Fotografia artystyczna by Edward Steichen
Italian actress Eleonora Duse by Edward Steichen; year: 1903.

Some of these photographs look like impressionist paintings. It’s all because their authors were strongly inspired by 19-th century painteres. We call this early 20-th century trend as pictorialism (most of pictures below represent it). Photogrpahs stopped being just a copy of reality, they started to create the world according to an indiwidual vision of an artist. Photos became works od art. It was very popular among creators to make them similar to impressionist paintings. That’s why the pictures have typical for them soft and fuzzy contours.

1906: Spring idyll by Alexander Keighley – one of the most important british pictorialists

Fotografia artystyczna by Alex Keighley
Alex Keighley

1904: French pictorialism was represented by Auguste Ernst Moreau in The Song of Chimney-sweeps

Fotografia artystyczna by Auguste Ernst Moreau
Auguste Ernst Moreau

1913: swiss photographer Frederic Boissonnas is taking a picture of schoolgirls from music school in Hellerau (now Dresden). The school was famous for teaching music by motion (check Dalcroze Eurhythmics)

Fotografia artystyczna by Frederick Boissonnas
Frederick Boissonnas

1906: German L. Kleintjes is taking a picture of a woman holding a linen shawl. Original title is At the Linen Cabinet

Fotografia artystyczna L. Kleintjes
L. Kleintjes

1909: Alex Keighley is taking a picture of a Seller of Melons

Fotografia artystyczny by Alex Keighley
Alex Keighley

1910: Atelier of Hanni Schwarz (photographer from Berlin). You can see a Nymph captured by Schwarz or one of her colleagues from the studio

Fotografia artystyczna by Hanni Schwarz
Hanni Schwarz

1900: Close to Buenos Aires by Argentinean Francisco Ayerza

Fotografia artystyczna by Francisco Ayerza
Francisco Ayerza

1901: Rudolph Eickemeyer Jr. is taking a picture of 16-years old revue dancer Evelyn Nesbit. Original title is a Little Butterfly

Fotografia artystyczna by Rudolph Eickemeyer Jr.
Rudolph Eickemeyer Jr.

1900: Sacral Song by french pictorialist Constant Puyo

Fotografia artystyczna by Constant Puyo
Constant Puyo

1900: The vision of Sunset according to belgian pictorialist Leonard Misonne

Fotografia artystyczna by Leonard Misonne
Leonard Misonne

1901: Kitten by Stephanie Ludwig, german photographer associated with atelier in Munich

Fotografia artystyczna by Stephanie Ludwig
Stephanie Ludwig

1900: Meditation by French Rene Le Begue

Fotografia artystyczna by Rene Le Bergue
Rene Le Bergue

1901: A farmer with a scythe is a work of german portraitist Nicola Perscheid, who was strongly promoting using soft fucuses

Fotografia artystyczna by Nicola Perscheid
Nicola Perscheid

1905: French Albert Gilibert is taking a picture of The Last Rays

Fotografia artystyczna by Albert Gilbert
Fotografia artystyczna by Albert Gilbert