Black Dog Descending the Stairs

When photography was introduced in 1839, people said that the process would kill painting. As we know almost two centuries later, painting is still alive and well. On the other hand, photography added to painting and the traditional media by presenting a new vision.

Few painters would have included a black dog descending the staircase in front of a Gothic church. But the inclusion in this photograph creates a juxtaposition we would dismiss in life. Seeing it in a picture, we realize the incongruity of bringing unrelated detail together within a frame, as it happens in this circular image or in the rectangular frames of Surrealist painters during the nineteen-twenties and thirties.

John Booras Research Collection