Since Niépce took his first photograph in 1826, and especially after the development of the Daguerreotype in 1839, one of the main questions surrounding photography was whether it could be considered an art form.
At that time, the term art was understood as being produced by hand, which was not the case with photography as it involved the use of a camera to create images. This led to controversy about whether photography could be considered an art form.
One of the reasons for this questioning was the fact that, particularly in Europe, one of the first uses of the camera was for portraits, which put it in competition with realistic painters. This led painter Paul Delaroche to say “as of today, painting is dead“.