Realism in Art
- a. In first half of 19th, Romanticism in art had been paralleled by classical school of painting, but both were superseded by the new mood of the mid-19th
- b. In art, Realism became dominant after 1850, although Romanticism was by no means dead
- a. Most important characteristics of Realism were a desire to depict the everyday life of ordinary people, be they peasants, workers, or prostitutes; an attempt at photographic realism; and an interest in the natural environment.
- b. French were leaders in realist painting
- i. Most famous artist of the Realist school
- ii. Realism was first coined to describe one of his paintings
- iii. He reveled in realistic portrayal of everyday life: factory workers, peasants, etc.
- iv. The Stonebreakers: two road workers engaged in the deadening work of breaking stones to build a road
- i. Preoccupied with scenes from rural life, especially peasants laboring in the fields, although his realism still contained an element of Romantic sentimentality
- ii. In The Gleaners, his most famous work, three peasant women gather grain in a field, a centuries-old practice that for Millet showed the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature
- iii. Millet made landscape and country life an important subject matter for French artists