Romantic realism

Romantic realism

Romantic Realism is an aesthetic term that usually refers to art that deals with the themes of volition and value while also acknowledging objective reality and the importance of .

Though the term was used earlier (by Joseph Conrad), it was very much popularized by writer/philosopher Ayn Rand. Many Objectivists who consider themselves artists apply this term to themselves. Rand defined Romantic realism as a portrayal of things and people "as they might and ought to be." "Might be" implied realism, as contrasted with mere fantasy. "Ought to be" implied a moral vision and a standard of beauty and virtue. This combination is based on the idea that heroic values, and similar themes, "are" rational and 'realistic,' as a Romantic Realist wouldn't believe in a necessary dichotomy between 'romanticism' and 'realism.'

A detailed analysis of Dostoevsky as a Romantic Realist is given in Donald Fanger's book, Dostoevsky and Romantic Realism: A Study of Dostoevsky in Relation to Balzac, Dickens, and Gogol (1998, Northwestern University Press). Similarly, Conrad's relationship to Romantic Realism is analyzed in Ruth M. Stauffer's 1922 book: Joseph Conrad: His Romantic Realism (reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, December 2004).

As far as both their personal interests as well as objective comparisons go, a majority of romantic realist artists are more similar to romanticism than realism in what they produce. Romantic realism is often considered, more or less, a "branch" of romanticism.

Artists of Romantic Realism include:
*Bob Pejman
*Aleksandr Petrov (animator)
*Michael Newberry
*Ayn Rand (novelist)
*Nick Gaetano (who created the cover art for the 35th anniversary editions of Ayn Rand's books)


"I am a Romantic in the sense that I present men as they ought to be. I am Realistic in the sense that I place them here and now and on this earth."

—Ayn Rand, quoted in "The Essentials of Objectivism," included in Signet's 1992 edition of her novel "Atlas Shrugged"

ee also

* Classical realism
* Art Renewal Center

External links

* [ Crabel Gallery of Romantic Realism] - Toby Crabel's

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