Can we talk about the history of art and how techniques developed over time? I'm curious to know how we went from the same art style for a good few hundred years to what the op image is.
Why did photography develop? Was it out of need, or simple curiosity?
I know shit all about visual arts but I've studied music history, and it's largely a consequent of non-artistic events. Like, medieval art (or at least the shit that survived) is largely religious, and modern art was reactionary to shit like WWI. That kinda thing. Obviously technology plays a part too, if it can be used in composition.
Why are massive projects like pic related never undertaken anymore?
Is it because kings would commission them purely because they wanted to see something beautiful or leave a legacy, whereas a democratic committees would see it as too expensive and risky?
Speaking as someone with little direct knowledge: probably curiosity at first. Photography sounds like it would have been a good way to put newly-developed chemistry knowledge and techniques to good use.