Artistic photography in Catalonia | Cultural Heritage. Goverment of Catalonia.
Artistic photography in Catalonia Creativity behind the camera

From the early daguerreotype to current media and distribution channels, Catalan photography has been at the forefront of a revolution lasting a little less than two centuries.

Months after the daguerreotype appeared in France (1839), Ramon Alabern became the first Catalan to take pictures with this new invention. Soon after, photographers such as José Martínez Sánchez and Juan Martí, bore witness to the Industrial Revolution.

At the end of the 19th century, the first Catalan artistic photographers appeared (Joan Vilatobà, Miquel Renom and Pere Casas Abarca), approaching Symbolism and Impressionism, while the second generation followed Pictorialism (Joaquim Pla and Claudi Carbonell). The Avant-gardism also came to Catalan photography, and the work of professionals such as Pere Català Pic and Gabriel Casas meant an artistic and technical revolution.

It was not until the 1950s that tradition of documentary photography was reawoken. A new generation (Francesc Català Roca, Ramon Masats, Xavier Miserachs, Oriol Maspons, Joan Colom, Leopoldo Pomés, Colita and Eugeni Forcano) showed reality both critically and ironically.

In the seventies and eighties, the dissemination and cultural prestige of the photograph increased, finally reaching the museums. With the arrival of the digital era, its use was further democratised.