Photographs of artists in their studios, no matter how posed or contrived, are often used in exhibition catalogues and catalogue raisonnes to illustrate something of the way an artist works. Likewise, photographs of artists working outdoors are used in the same way, and if detailed information is available a photograph can take on a documentary importance - evidence that the artist was at a certain place at a certain time generating studies for a finished and identifiable work of art. The source of the photograph might also be important.
Of the two photographs of the French etcher Eugene Bejot, explored below, one was clearly taken by a friend (see detail). It is relaxed in feel and there is even a light hearted message on the reverse - a joke about the artist finally doing some work at last! - whilst the other is a little more posed, and is possibly a record of a visit.
Every now and then, a photograph of an artist comes to light that doesn't fit the convention of a useful, archival source. It might even go against what is already known about the artist, or cause a reappraisal of some aspect of their work. It may even appear downright eccentric, such as the photograph of the Bristol artist William Muller, below.
image: detail of a photograph showing the artist Eugene Bejot sketching by a river (Mb6108)