Research Article

Hand and Eye: Study on the Relationship between Painting and Photography from Benjamin's Perspective


  • Lei Yuan Fine Art, Northeast Normal University, China


The birth of printing brought great changes to literature, and the continuous fragmentation of printmaking media allowed pictorial art products to flow into the market. However, no one could have imagined that just a few decades later, the birth of photography would remove the human hand from the main artistic task of image reproduction, which would henceforth be reserved for the eyes staring at the lens. Walter Benjamin, as an early scholar among Western intellectuals in the 20th century, paid attention to the study of the relationship between photography and painting. The Small History of Photography and Works of Art in the Era of Mechanical Reproduction written by him can be regarded as classic works of photographic theory, modern cultural theory and modern art theory. His focus is on the juxtaposition study of photography and painting, two art categories that are both visual image presentation, which is pioneering, original and foundational. Although the paper is not long, the game between symbol and image, politics and economy, and subjective and objective is particularly wonderful. Therefore, it is particularly necessary to dig deeper into Benjamin's theoretical connotation and fully reveal his value in all aspects. The combination of the relationship between painting and photography has also injected impetus into the construction of contemporary visual culture.

Article information


International Journal of Arts and Humanities Studies

Volume (Issue)

4 (1)





How to Cite

Yuan, L. (2024). Hand and Eye: Study on the Relationship between Painting and Photography from Benjamin’s Perspective. International Journal of Arts and Humanities Studies, 4(1), 09–13.