History Of Photography (course Name). Expositions Of The Photos In The Musee De Elysee In Lausanne – Essay Example

Prof’s Conflict in Musée de lElysée Musée de lElysée in Laussanne, Switzerland has one of the most substantial collections of important photographs in Europe. While the Louvre and other museums might be more famous, there are few that compete with Musée de lElysée Laussanne in terms of photography. One of the major things that the museum shows is the ability of photography to capture the reality of conflict in ways that few other forms of art can – there are simply a few levels less abstraction in a photograph than in another piece of art, and this can prove much more visceral for the viewer. In this vein, this essay analyzes two of the greatest conflict photographers in Musée de lElysée Laussanne, Robert Capa and John Philips.
These two photographers took very different kinds of pictures, and were evocative in very different ways. One of Robert Capa’s photographs housed in the Musée de lElysée, titled simply “D-Day 135,” reproduced below, is an excellent example of his style (Lebrun et. al.). In this photograph, one can truly see the horrors of war. Capa does not concern himself with composing still frames that seem to freeze in time, but rather embraces the chaos and motion that is inherent to war. He shows the heat of the battle, especially focusing on soldiers and their actions. He also thus focuses on the horrors of war through wreckage and destruction.
John Phillips takes a very different approach. Though he is also famous for his depictions of World War II, he took the conflict in a very different light. Philips spent more of his time, for instance, examining the structure that brought about war. One of his most famous images, for instance, is a depiction of Austrian children in the Hitler youth (Musée de lElysée). It shows the children standing in a line, completely ordered, making the “Hitler solute.” He paired this photograph with one that he took of British Boy Scouts, shown below, in which the children stand in similar unison, but only making the three fingered solute of the Boy Scouts rather than the Heil Hitler. He thus shows both sides as following similar paths of authority, and operating under the same kinds of situations – but to vastly different consequences.

The Musée de lElysée has a truly amazing collection of photographs, but what is most important is that it shows the breadth of the medium. For instance, two photographers, Robert Capa and John Philips, who both took pictures of the same event, depict it in completely different lights, allowing the viewer to understand the conflict through two completely different sets of lenses, and come to one conclusion based on those two disparate view points.
Works Cited
Lebrun, Bernard, Michel Lefebvre, and Bernard Matussière. Robert Capa: The Paris Years 1933-1954. New York: Abrams, 2012. Print.
"Robert Capa." Elysee.ch. Musée De LElysée in Laussanne, n.d. Web.
"John Philips." Elysee.ch. Musée De LElysée in Laussanne, n.d. Web.