Photography as an artform

Photograph “Muhammad Ali Underwater“ by Flip Schulke, 1961

Master photographers

Since its inception, photography has hovered between two camps. On the one hand, it attempts to realistically capture reality, while on the other it concerns itself with capturing imaginatively artistic orchestrations. The movement of artistic photography began during the mid-19th century with the intention of imitating the art of painting. Moreover, it proved to be a seminal contribution to impressionism, a movement which would have been almost unimaginable without the development of photography. Photography soon established itself as an independent art from, which utilizes its unique characteristics to convey artistic intent.

Photographers like Edward Steichen, André Kertész, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Richard Avedon, who worked for major fashion magazines such as Vogue or Vanity Fair, propelled artistic photography to where it is today. Currently, their works attain top prices at auction and doubtlessly represent a worthwhile investment. Take a look at our auction calendar to ensure that you won’t miss a single Auctionata auction.

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Art Photography in our online shop

Henri Cartier-Bresson, ‘Children in West Berlin’, 1963

The ABC of photography

Alongside works by major photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Eisenstaedt or Elliott Erwitt and contemporary photographic artists like Terry Richardson, you will also find daguerreotypes from the 19th century in our online shop.

Come and enjoy the fantastic diversity on offer in our shop and take this opportunity to secure a rare photograph by an internationally renowned photographic artist. New artworks flow into our curated online shop every single day, meaning there will always be new items to browse through.

Whether timeless black and white photography or signed masterpieces of the contemporary art world, Auctionata is the number one destination for both photography aficionados and novices who are looking to acquire superior and singular photographic works and vintage prints for a private collection or to grace the walls at home.

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Highlights of photography in our shop

Photograph “Portfolio 3 / Picture 3“
by Guy Aroch, 2006

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Jeff Widener, Photograph, 'Evansville,
Indiana', USA, 1981

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Bill Brandt (1904-83), Early Morning
on the River, London,´35

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Jeff Widener, Photograph, 'Misread', Signed, Hawaii, 2002

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The French photography pioneers

Daguerreotype “Family playing cards“, Germany around 1845

Joseph Niépce and Louis Daguerre

The earliest photographical processes were created during the 1820s. The first photograph, which still exists today, was taken by Frenchman Joseph Niépce (1765-1833), who is considered to be the founding father of photography technology with his invention of heliography.

Fellow Frenchman and colleague Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) was a step ahead when he invented a process known as daguerreotype, which was named after Daguerre himself. Initially, the images were formed on pure silver sheets. For monetary reasons, he later exchanged pure silver with silver plated copper.

Despite the long exposure time required to successfully produce an image, daguerreotypes were increasingly able to compete with the conventionally painted miniatures. Capturing a mirror image of reality was something entirely new when photography was first invented. Despite this, it soon developed its very own artistic language and was eventually recognized as an art form in itself.

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The Düsseldorf School – Photography made in Germany

Thomas Ruff, Ex Libris ‘Atlas zum Lehrbuch der Physik’, 2004

Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff and Thomas Struth

Works by this trio of world famous photographers sell for millions on the arts market and when these works are not going under the hammer they can be viewed in international museums. One thing unites these photographers: they all studied under Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Academy of Arts in Düsseldorf.

The Düsseldorf Photography School was founded in the second half of the 20th century by the married artist couple Bernd and Hilla Becher when Bernd took over the professorship of photography at the Academy of Arts in the Rhineland in 1976. Besides international stars such as Gursky, Ruff and Struth, the couple also taught numerous other German photographers who have since risen to prominence. These include Axel Hütte, Laurenz Berges, Petra Wunderlich, Elger Esser, Jörg Sasse, Candida Höfer and Nieweg.

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Highlights of the Auctionata photography auctions

Richard Prince (b. 1949), Photography, Woman with Hat, 1982-84

Old school and contemporary photography

One of the absolute highlights of the photography auctions we have held thus far is the signed cibachrome print entitled ‘Woman with Hat’ by Richard Price, one of the most prominent representatives of appropriation art. After beginning the auction with a starting price of €2,400.00 this photograph eventually found a proud new owner for the considerable sum of €8,210.00 (including buyer’s premium) following an exciting bidding contest.

A signed black and white photograph by the world famous photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, cofounder of the Magnum photo agency, was also among the top results when it achieved a hammer price of €7,992.00 (including buyer’s premium). Both photographs by the famous American fashion and advertising photographer Bert Stern, which pictured the unforgettable idol Marilyn Monroe six weeks before her tragic death, changed hands for €6,315.00 (including buyer’s premium).

These are only a few examples of the impressive works of photographic art that Auctionata presents to an engaged international audience at our frequent auctions.

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Top results from our previous photography auctions

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004),
Ahmedabad, India, 1966

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Starting price €2,800.00
Sold for €6,600.00 (incl. buyer’s premium)

Bert Stern (1923-2013), 2 Marilyn’s Last
Sitting, Signed, 1962

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Starting price €2,000.00
Sold for €6,000.00 (incl. buyer’s premium)

Adam Fuss, Pigment Print, Untitled
2007

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Starting price $7,500.00
Sold for $9,799.00 (incl. buyer’s premium)