Cezanne  - Apples and Pears
Georges Meis - Blue Steps With Oranges
There has been a lot of discussion as to whether photography is an art, and as to its function if it is an art. Whatever other purposes the discussion may serve, it may help us understand art in general better.
In the Nineteenth Century, there were photographers who saw photography as a type of painting. They tried to create beauty by their choice of subject, by composition, and by exploiting those simplifications which were inherent in the medium. The purpose of the simplifications was to remove everything except the causes of the feeling of beauty, thus allowing the viewer to feel the beauty undistracted. Very few art photographers still work like that.
As in the other arts, many of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century photographers wandered off into dead ends of novelty for its own sake. As in the other arts, many of these dead ends have not yet been exposed for what they are. So it's new. So what?
The nature of photography caused some photographers to wander off in yet another direction. They stopped trying to create beauty. They tried to expose the beautiful, and then the sublime, in everything.
The question is whether this is really a revolution in aesthetics. What were the Northern European literalists, especially the genre painters, trying to do?

Spaces, not commas, please!