Blue and Red
Central Park Landscapes
Face to Face
Song of Love
Time of Beauty
Realism in the visual
arts and literature is the depiction of subjects as they
appear in everyday life, without embellishment or
interpretation. The term is also used to describe works of
art which, in revealing a truth, may emphasize the ugly or
sordid. It represents the opposite of idealism.
Realism also refers to a mid-19th century cultural movement
with its roots in France, where it was a very popular art
form around the mid to late 1800’s. It came about with the
introduction of photography - a new visual source that
created a desire for people to produce things that look
“objectively real”. Realism was heavily against romanticism,
a genre dominating French literature and artwork in the mid
19th century. Undistorted by personal bias, Realism believed
in the ideology of objective reality and revolted against
exaggerated emotionalism. Truth and accuracy became the
goals of many Realists.
French cultural movement
Realism became prominent as a cultural movement as a
reaction to the idealism of Romanticism in the middle of the
19th century. Often linked to demands for social and
political reform and democracy, realism dominated the visual
arts and literature of France, England and the United States
from around 1840 to 1880, and along with naturalism
dominated Brazil's literature through out this same time.
Prominent realists include Balzac, Stendhal, George Meredith
in the United Kingdom, and Eça de Queirós in Portugal, and
probably the best realistic writer ever Machado de Assis on
the literary side and their counterparts in the visual arts
include Gustave Courbet and Jean François Millet.
Realists render everyday characters, situations, dilemmas,
and objects, all in a "true-to-life" manner. Realists tend
to discard theatrical drama, lofty subjects and classical
forms of art in favor of commonplace themes.
However no art can ever be fully realistic. Distortion in
form, simplification of details are required for any
painting. Taking this argument further, newer forms of art
like Surrealism, Pseudorealism, Magic Realism have developed
in the field of visual art.
Realism (arts). (2006, December 2). In Wikipedia, The
Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 08:17, December 8, 2006,