He argued that it freed the west from the obsession with realism, hence allow it to regain it aesthetic autonomy. In his claim, he cited Cézanne and Picasso as good examples of painters who started their career in early days of photography and started modernizing the art with its literal means of depicting the world. Bazin had previously suggested that painting was torn by two ambitions.
One ambition was expressing spiritual reality where the symbol transcended its model, while the other one duplicates the outside world. Photography removed the burden of the second task from painting, though it was not better at showing the world as it was. Best oil paintings precise depictions were superior to the blurred black and white photographs of that time. In addition, he argued that the painting image shares by virtue of the process of its becoming. On the other hand, photography is a mechanical process which man plays no part. Consequently, we forced to accept that as real the existence of object reproduced (Azoulay, 2002, P 202).
Through analogy, Bazin gave reference to the Turin shroud, where certain people believed it is the actual sheet in which the body of Christ was laid in the tomb, and the blood stain that dried on the sheet and outlined a human face figure on the cloth, gave a depiction of the physiognomy of Christ. Although scientific tests results showed it does not date back to the Christ time if it were what it purports to be. It would help in showing why for believers would have shared in Christ’s sacredness. In addition, the reasons its image would be contemplated with high devotion than any painting or Jesus.
The reality would have been transferred to the shroud of Christ. He also argued it the plastic arts were to be done analysis; the preservation of the dead by embalming might turn out to be a fundamental factor in their creation.