Publication details [#2974]

Brill, Lesley. 1992. Notes toward an analytic criticism of photography: Seven photos of Eugene Atget. Bakhtiniana: Revista de Estudos do Discurso 7 (2) : 77–91. 15 pp.


Although historical, technical, and theoretical writing has always accompanied artistic photography, little sustained formal commentary exists. This article discusses seven photographs by Atget. It attempts to deepen understanding of those works and to exemplify a possible approach to photographic explication. All the photographs have symbolic meanings beyond their literal representation of the world. Applying Aristotle's conception of metaphor as proportion offers one way to understand those meanings. These partial analyses suggest that explication of photographs may improve our understanding of particular works and of symbolic meaning in photography generally. (Lesley Brill)