History of Art

'Gods, heroes and patriots did not interest the realist painters.' Compare and contrast works which represented realist ideas.
The term realism was used with various meanings in the criticism of art but here we concentrate on its broadest sense; naturalism. Artists whose paintings were of the naturalist kind tried to depict things accurately and objectively in their paintings, they were against idealised beauty and mostly portrayed working class people in their typical everyday situation. Realism was a movement that occurred in the nineteenth century and mostly around French painters. These (mostly French) artists went against historical, mythological and religious subject for paintings and were in favour of un-idealised scenes of the modern life. Courbet, who became the leader of the realist movement, said'painting is essentially a concrete art and must be applied to real and existing things'.
Courbet had not cast off all romantic ideas along with the trappings of romanticism. But, his paintings show better than his writings how his forceful personality and the circumstances of his life led him to create an art far removed from that of Delecroix, not to mention Delaroche. He was the son of a fairly well to do farmer at Ornans, near the swiss border and went in 1839 to Paris where he taught himself to paint by studying in the Louvre and in the Atelliers Libres (open studios), which for a small fee provided a model but had no formal curriculum. His circle of friends included Baudelaire and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, originator of the phrase;'Property is theft', whose socialist views were shared. Courbet was born in Ornans and he was a member of a peasant family. Thus his understanding of peasants individuals was profound, particularly their appearance. Courbet said "Painting should consist of nothing but the representation of objects which the artist can see and touch…an abstract object not e…

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