The Brief History Of Realism Cultural Studies Essay

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In the middle of the 19th century, mainly from 1830 to 1870, Realist movement appeared. It was a movement that chose to paint regular, common and something unusual images. It was totally different to the drama and Romanticism. Realism established its own idea more than a movement in specific filed. This movement also was known as solving all human problems, science and its positivist. One of the Realistic group was the Barbizon School.

Realistic emphasise on the paint of the images as they are really appeared.

In France after the revolution in 1848 Realism appears. A taste of social equality is the name that France expresses it. In addition, at the same period in England Realists artists came against the Victorian. (Arnason H. and Kalb P. 2004, History of modern art: painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, Page 758)

In addition, Realism is social tendency, and adds new style in architecture and just few valuable sculptures. New constructional technology was introduced at that time.

Exhibition halls and railway stations where used large spans mass-modular construction.

Using iron as material in building and design of twisted-wire cable for bridges can be seen as the first design in structure in to architecture.


Philosophy of Realism

Realism rejects Romanticism and Classicism, because they are fallacies of art. Realism principle is focusing on the real world and subjects of the middle classes people and suburban. It believes that those things which are everyday happens and mundane have worth.

Barbizon school

Edouard Manet, who was a painter, started the third movement of modern revolution.

A group of French artists got gather and established Realism at village of Barbizon near Fontainebleau Forest, France. And it is named Barbizon school in 1830-1870's.

Barbizon School was a school of French painting in the mid-nineteenth century, which is part of the movement Realism.

There was a problem with this new Movement which is the new way of looking at objects and the world around us. Before each object in the world has its own exact meaning and colour. ( Amory, Dita. "The Barbizon School: French Painters of Nature". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000)

Jean Baptisti Camille Corot, Jean-François Millet, Charles-François Daubigny and Théodore Rousseau were the leaders of the Barbizon school. Those who were enthusiastic to paint, followed the path of Poussin and Claude and went to Italy. They gathered to paint and draw directly in the landscape.

Despite differing in age, technique, training, and lifestyle, the artists of the Barbizon School collectively embraced their native landscape, mostly the rich landscape of the Forest of Fontainebleau. They shared acknowledgment of landscape as an independent subject. Alfred Sensier, close friend and biographer of Barbizon painters Théodore Rousseau and Jean-François Millet, wrote of the romantic attraction of the Forest of Fontainebleau: "They had reached such a pitch of over-excitement that they were quite unable to work... the proud majesty of the old trees, the virgin state of rocks and heath... all these intoxicated them with their beauty and their smell. They were, in truth, possessed." (Amory, Dita. "The Barbizon School: French Painters of Nature". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000)

A group of international artist began to develop a new method of symbolic representation. They are persistent on scientific concepts of image and the study of visual effects of light. The old traditional artistic denial and taste of democracy were stated.

They focused on nature as it is and also they established rural life and landscape for their art. Here are the names of some artists who were in Barbizon School:

Marie Rosalie Bonheur, John Singleton Copley, Gustave Courbet, Honoré Daumier, Hilaire Germain Edgar Degas, Thomas Eakins, Ignace Henri Theodore Fantin-Latour, Wilhelm Leibl, Edouard Manet.)

Definition of realism

What Defines Realism Art Work

Realism art work can most probably be described as an artistic try to imitate nature with the use of a paintbrush. Such is the aspirations to those who belonged to this movement and believed that classicism, romanticism and subjectivism portrayed fallacies of nature in more than one way.

The Focus of Realism Art Work

Artists of the realism period focussed on the study of science and the optical effects of light within our everyday world and as such rejected the use of the imagination as a direct subject for their art. It was their belief that science held the key to all of the problems that we face in our day-to-day lives. As a result, a tendency flourished among realists to produce paintings that reflected the everyday mental experiences of contemporary life. This included abstract concepts such as cultures, problems and customs which tended to focus specifically on the immediate surrounds of the artist and thusly include objects and people traditionally not considered of any artistic merit. Naturally, this pointed the focus away from the pristine idyll of imagination and perception that had its basis in academic art and focussed on those individuals which were heretofore ignored such as the everyday man in his usual environment.

Subject Matter

Favourite subject matter for Realist artists included: genre scenes of rural and urban working class life, scenes of street-life, cafes and night clubs, as well as increasing frankness in the treatment of the body, nudity and sexual subjects. Not surprisingly, this gritty approach shocked many of the upper and middle class patrons of the visual arts.

A general trend as well as a specific style of art, Realism heralded a general move away from the 'ideal' (as typified by the art of Classical mythology, so beloved by Renaissance artists and sculptors) towards the ordinary. Thus, in their figure drawing and figure painting, Realists portrayed real people not idealized types. From now on, artists felt increasingly free to depict real-life situations stripped of aesthetics and universal truths. In this sense, Realism reflected a progressive and highly influential shift in the significance and function of art in general, including literature as well as fine art. It influenced Impressionism and several other modern art styles, such as Pop-Art. The style retains its influence on the visual arts to this day.

It can be said that Realism did nit just affect on art but also on literature as well. And as it mentioned before in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood there are some collection such as poets, paintings and critics.

Realist Artists

Famous painters, strongly associated with the 19th century Realist movement include: Jean-Francois Millet (1814-75), Gustave Courbet (1819-77), Honore Daumier (1808-79). However, many more were influenced by Realism without allowing it to dominate their work. An interesting example is the Russian painter Ilya Repin (1844-1930), who produced outstanding realist style works such as Bargemen on the Volga (1870), as well as Krestny Khod (Religious Procession) in Kursk Gubernia (1883).

Gustave Courbet

Édouard Manet

Born into an upper class household with strong political connections, Manet rejected the future originally envisioned for him, only to become engrossed in the world of painting. The last 20 years of Manet's life saw him form bonds with other great artists of the time, and develop his own style that would be heralded as innovative and serve as a major influence for future painters.

The Gleaners, 1857, by Jean-Francois Millet

Jean-François Millet (October 4, 1814 - January 20, 1875) was a French painter and one of the founders of the Barbizon school in rural France. Millet is noted for his scenes of peasant farmers; he can be categorized as part of the naturalism and realism movements

Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet (10 June 1819-31 December 1877) was a French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting. The Realist movement bridged the Romantic movement (characterized by the paintings of Théodore Géricault and Eugène Delacroix), with the Barbizon School and the Impressionists. Courbet occupies an important place in 19th century French painting as an innovator and as an artist willing to make bold social commentary in his work.

Edouard Manet

Jean-Francois Millet

Millet portrays three peasant women working at the harvest. There is no drama and no story told, merely three peasant women in a field. Gleaners are poor women gathering what's left after the rich owners of the field finished harvesting. The owners and their laborers are seen in the back of the painting. Millet here shifted the focus, the subject matter, from the rich and prominent to those at the bottom of the social ladders. Millet also didn't paint their faces to emphasize their anonymity and marginalized position. Their bowed bodies are representative of their every day hard work.

Morteze Katouzian

Iman Maleki