Realism<br />Christina’s World<br />By Andrew Wyeth, 1948<br />
Overview<br />Inspired by the positivist view of the second half the 19th century, which was the faith in all knowledge derived from science, and the belief that these methods would solve all human problems<br />Realism, therefore, was the accurate and apparently objective description (through painting) of the ordinary, observable world<br />Introduced the contemporary to art and rejected Classicism and Romanticism <br />Wanted to reproduce ignored aspects of contemporary life and society <br />For the first time ordinary people and everyday activities were considered worthy subjects for art<br />Began in the 1850s in France<br />The Gleaners <br />By Jean-Francois Millet, 1857<br />
Overview Cont’d<br />In the broadest sense, realism is when something has been well observed and accurately depicted<br />Examples of realism in in these terms can be found throughout history and all around the world<br />A fondness of humble subjects and homely details can be found very early also<br />Realism made a resurgence during the final years and aftermath of WWI in the so-called, “Return to Order” also known as “Modern Realism” in England, traditionisme in France, and “Neue Sachlichkeit”/ “Magic Realism” in Germany<br />New York Restaurant<br />By Edward Hopper, 1922<br />
Overview Cont’d<br />Trompe l’oeil: “fool the eye”; a technique which creates the illusion that the objects depicted actually exist<br />Examples of this can be found from antiquity to the present day<br />Fallen Monarchs<br />By William Bliss Baker, 1886<br />
Important Realist Painters<br />Henri Cadiou<br />Ford Madox Brown<br />Jean BaptisteSiméonChardin<br />Gustave Courbet<br />Honoré Daumier<br />Thomas Eakins<br />Winslow Homer<br />Jean-Francois Millet<br />Rembrandt van Rijn<br />Théodore Rousseau<br />Edward Hopper<br />Andrew Wyeth<br />Max Schmitt in a Single Scull<br />By Thomas Eakins, 1871<br />
Tenant Farmer <br />By Andrew Wyeth, 1961<br />
Madame X<br />By John Singer Sargent, 1884<br />
Gustave Courbet<br />French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting<br />Made bold social commentary in his work<br />Painted subjects that were considered vulgar, such as the rural peasantry and the working conditions of the poor<br />Believed that the only possible source for a living art is the artist’s own experience (not any attempt to portray the past or future)<br />Depicted the harshness in life and challenged contemporary academic ideas of art<br />Grew up in a household that held very anti-monarchial feelings (grandfather fought in the French Revolution)<br />Studied Spanish, Flemish, and French painters<br />
Medium of Choice For Realist Painters<br />The medium of choice for Courbet and many Realist artists was oil on canvas<br />Other mediums used in Realist paintings include acrylic, watercolor, and egg tempera<br />
The work of Gustave Courbet fits into Realism because:<br />The paintings depict things as they are as accurately as possible in order to create the illusion of reality<br /> His subjects were often the everyday and ordinary, such as the poor, prostitutes, contemporary landscapes, and peasants<br /> He openly rejected the established, academic modes of painting and subjects that were idealized, such as in Romanticism or Classicism <br />
The Painter’s Studio<br /><ul><li>This painting portrays the artist in the center with the awful side of his life on the left side of him and the good side of his life on the right side of him. The left side represents challenge and opposition (figures like beggars and prostitutes) while the right represents friends and admirers.
The painting exhibits a heightened reality that makes it almost dreamlike, with figures that are both real and symbolic.
This painting is considered great because it is so original and unique in its blending of the allegorical and the actual so that the difference is almost impossible to distinguish.</li></li></ul><li>A Burial At Ornans<br />This painting is an early example of Realism, before it became too well known or well-liked among the public, so it was met with some fierce denunciations from the critics and the public. It is the depiction of the funeral of his grand uncle, in a style that was usually reserved for religious or royal scenes. The actual townspeople who attended the funeral were used as models.<br />The people in the crowd are not depicted in a lavish or idealistic way, but as they are and as they truly looked in real life, ugliness and all. The figures are not doing dramatic grieving gestures, but are posed rather realistically, which was very seldom done at the time in works of art.<br />This work is great because it was one of the first Realist paintings, and extremely innovative for the time in its subject matter and the way the scene is presented. It stripped away all traditional or, “popular” conventions for the fine art of that era, and ushered in a new movement. Because of this the painting has been referred to as, “The Burial of Romanticism”.<br />
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