Realism (visual arts)


Realism (visual arts)

Realism is a visual art style that depicts the actuality of what the eyes can see. Realists render everyday characters, situations, dilemmas, and objects, all in verisimilitude. They tend to discard theatrical drama, lofty subjects and classical forms in favor of commonplace themes. Gustave Courbet is credited with coining the term, which often refers to the artistic movement, sometimes called naturalism, which began in the 1850s in France.

Course

Realism appears in art as early as 2400 BC in the city of Lothal in what is now India, and examples can be found throughout the history of art. In the broadest sense, realism in a work of art exists wherever something has been well observed and accurately depicted, even if the work as a whole does not strictly conform to the conditions of realism. For example, the proto-Renaissance painter Giotto di Bondone brought a new realism to the art of painting by rendering physical space and volume far more convincingly than his Gothic predecessors. His paintings, like theirs, represented biblical scenes and the lives of the saints.

In the late 16th century, the prevailing mode in European art was mannerism, an artificial art of elongated figures in graceful but unlikely poses. Caravaggio emerged to change the direction of art by depicting flesh-and-blood human beings, painted directly from life with an immediacy never before seen.

A fondness for humble subjects and homely details characterizes much of Dutch art, and Rembrandt is an outstanding realist in his renunciation of the ideal and his embrace of the life around him. In the 19th century a group of French landscape artists known as the Barbizon School emphasized close observation of nature, paving the way for the Impressionists. In England the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood rejected what they saw as the formulaic idealism of the followers of Raphael, which led some of them to an art of intense realism. The final years and aftermath of the First World War saw a return of realism and of styles dating back to before Post-Impressionism, in the so-called "Return to Order" - this became known as "Neo-Realism" or "Modern Realism" in England (led by Meredith Frampton, Charles Ginner, Harold Gilman and the Euston Road School), "traditionisme" in France (led by André Derain) and "Neue Sachlichkeit" (led by Otto Dix and Christian Schad) and "Magic Realism" in Germany.

Trompe l'oeil (literally, "fool the eye"), a technique which creates the illusion that the objects depicted actually exist, is an extreme example of artistic realism. Examples of this tendency can be found in art from antiquity to the present day.

Among the important realist painters are:
*William Bliss Baker
*Rosa Bonheur
*William-Adolphe Bouguereau
*Karl Briullov
*Henri Cadiou
*Ford Madox Brown
*Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin
*Camille Corot
*Gustave Courbet
*Charles-François Daubigny
*Honoré Daumier
*Edgar Degas (also an Impressionist)
*Edward Hopper
*Thomas Eakins
*Nikolai Ge
*Aleksander Gierymski
*William Harnett (a specialist in trompe l'oeil)
*Winslow Homer
*Louis Le Nain
*Édouard Manet (associated with Impressionism)
*Jean-François Millet
*Ilya Yefimovich Repin
*Rembrandt van Rijn
*Théodore Rousseau
*Andrew Wyeth
*Nikolai Yaroshenko

See also

Realistic art
*Classical Realism
*Fantastic realism
*Figurative art
*Illustration
*Genre works
*Heroic realism
*Magic realism
*Naturalism (art)
*New Realism
*Photorealism
*Romantic realism
*Social realism
*Socialist realism
*American realism

Schools

*Barbizon school
*Peredvizhniki
*Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

References

* [http://www.tate.org.uk/collections/glossary/definition.jsp?entryId=173 "Modern Realism"] at Tate Britain

External links

* [http://www.realismguild.com/ The International Guild of Realism] - Society for the advancement of Realism in Fine Art
* [http://www.artrenewal.org/ Art Renewal Center]
* [http://www.contemporary-still-life.com/ Contemporary Still Life, Painter Directory]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Visual arts of the United States — refers to the history of painting and visual art in the United States. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, artists primarily painted landscapes and portraits in a realistic style. A parallel development taking shape in rural… …   Wikipedia

  • Visual arts of Chicago — refers to paintings, prints, illustrations, textile art, sculpture, ceramics and other visual artworks produced in Chicago or by people with a connection to Chicago. Since World War II, Chicago visual art has had a strong individualistic streak,… …   Wikipedia

  • Visual arts —    Russia’s ongoing debates about its cultural heritage are especially evident in the realm of visual arts. Starting with Slavophiles, all Russian thinkers and artists were forced to place themselves on either the Western or Eastern front of the… …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

  • Portal:Visual arts — Wikipedia portals: Culture Geography Health History Mathematics Natural sciences People Philosophy Religion Society Technology THE VISUAL ARTS PORTAL …   Wikipedia

  • Russian visual arts — Early Russian painting focused on icon painting and vibrant fresco s inherited by Russians from Byzantium. As Moscow rose to power, Theophanes the Greek and Andrei Rublev are vital names associated with the beginning of a distinctly Russian art.… …   Wikipedia

  • Realism — Realism, Realist or Realistic may refer to:The arts*Realism (arts), the depiction of subjects as they appear in everyday life *Realism (dramatic arts), a movement towards greater fidelity to real life *Realism (visual arts), a style of painting… …   Wikipedia

  • Realism (arts) — 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 …   Wikipedia

  • Arts by region — Arts by regionAfrica;Art African art reflects the diversity of African cultures. The oldest existing art from Africa are 6,000 year old carvings found in Niger, while the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt was the world s tallest architectural… …   Wikipedia

  • arts, East Asian — Introduction       music and visual and performing arts of China, Korea, and Japan. The literatures of these countries are covered in the articles Chinese literature, Korean literature, and Japanese literature.       Some studies of East Asia… …   Universalium

  • realism — /ree euh liz euhm/, n. 1. interest in or concern for the actual or real, as distinguished from the abstract, speculative, etc. 2. the tendency to view or represent things as they really are. 3. Fine Arts. a. treatment of forms, colors, space, etc …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.