Artists have intermingled the mediums of photography and painting since the inception of photography in the nineteenth century. Even further back, according to David Hockney's Secret Knowledge, painters of the Renaissance used optic tools such as the camera obscura and the camera lucida to usher in a new era of realism in Western art. Once these techniques were finally captured through chemicals as photographs, painting and photography began a process of defining and redefining each other and their conceptual underpinnings. Within a century, photography helped to liberate painting from its illustrative obligation, while artists and theorists released photography from the limitations of realism and documentation.
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