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The name of this art movement contains its main principle. In Latin, reālis means real. Harsh reality at its best is the main source of inspiration and the theme for realism artists.

Realists supported a philosophical idea that the visible world is an objective reality, and its phenomena exist regardless of the feelings that it evokes in people, and of their personal impressions, and therefore the world requires that the artist accurately portray the reality without a touch of the subjectivity like I am an artist, and this is the way I see it.

Realism painting, as an art movement, appeared in the middle of the XIX century in France. The era of social upheaval caused by the 1848 revolution is usually mentioned among the reasons of its appearance. The earlier fashionable romanticism, was replaced by a style that was more appropriate to that era.

For the first time, the term realism was used by the French journalist and writer Jules Champfleury. Realism artists depicted the plain truth regardless of the feelings caused by their artworks, showing the unpleasant reality and unglamorous characters.

This was a break with the traditions of romanticism and academic art. The latter was inspired by antiquity, ancient gods and heroes, and loved historical subjects. In 1855, the French artist Gustave Courbet opened a solo exhibition called The Pavilion of Realism.

The pavilion was actually a tent built by the artist in Paris, next to the World Exhibition, which rejected his painting Artist's Studio.

However, over time, realism artworks gained popularity in all genres of fine art: portrait, landscape, historical painting.

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Gustave Courbet is a French painter, sculptor, drawing artist of the XIX century. He considered painting to be an extremely concrete art, which should depict only real things.

Courbet was a very consistent realism artist, as he portrayed same-sex love, drunken priests and close up genitals long before it all became mainstream.

He believed that an artist should show truthful life. He treated fellow artists with dislike, and preferred to exhibit his realism paintings separately from them.

However Courbet did not keep away from politics. In 1871 he became a member of the Paris Commune, and headed the Commissariat of Culture, which under his leadership destroyed the Vendome Column in Paris. Later, he spent six months in prison, and the court sentenced him to reimbursement for the destroyed historical monument.

Grant Wood is a realism artist of the twentieth century, whose work can be connected to the movement in American art called regionalism. It originated in the Midwestern regions of the United States. The artist became famous for his most famous painting American Gothic, which he created in 1930.

Grant Wood found inspiration in southern Iowa, where he saw a house in the style of provincial Gothic. The artist depicted this house and people who, in his opinion, could live in it. This realism artwork became a landmark for American art of the twentieth century. Shortly after its creation, the artwork was exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, where it is still now.

Bo Bartlett is a modern American realism artist. His quite realistic artworks are not simple. They are interesting to look at and figure out the subject. His paintings are inherently mysterious, meditative and erotic.

Perhaps it is more correct to call his style magical realism. Bartlett takes quite ordinary subjects and embodies them in an unexpected and attractive form. His artworks are like snapshots of dreams.

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What did realism artists portray? The life of ordinary people in cities and villages, everyday life of people from different backgrounds. The homeland of realism was beautiful France, but in England this movement did not become popular. Realism in art outlasted the era of the mid XIX century and then split into several styles, sometimes not similar at all. Let’s recall some of them.

Verism is the Italian version of realism of the late XIX century. Precisionism is an artistic movement in American painting of the 1930s. It features geometrical proportions and absence of people in paintings, which mainly show images of industrial objects.

The socialist realism is sometimes called the “grand style” of the Stalin era. Its main task was ideological education in terms of loyalty to the Soviet regime, and the hero was “a simple Soviet person, who was working, resting or fighting for a better future. It was a glossy and ideologically correct realism painting of the totalitarian era.

Modern realism paintings are also relevant in art. Photorealism originated in the late 1960s in the United States.

Most often, the artworks of this contemporary realism art are nothing more than photographs carefully moved onto the canvas.

The main task of a photorealism artist is to create a painting indistinguishable from the photo.

You can buy a realism painting in the online Jose Art Gallery.

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