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Realism

Realism

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Realism as a nameable phenomenon in Western thought and culture emerged in France during the mid-nineteenth century. Primarily a movement in art and literature, it claimed to represent common people and their everyday circumstances based on accurate observation. Realism challenged centuries of tradition, when the highest art aspired to idealized pictorial forms and heroic subjects. Supporters of realist art considered its veracity to be an indication of an artists sincerity, a moral judgment. It acquired a democratic political dimension from its inclusiveness and from the accessibility of its imagery to ordinary people unversed in the classics but capable of recognizing truth. These appeals were informed by progressive attitudes and an empirical concept of knowledge, as in the social theories of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865) and the scientific epistemology and the positivist philosophy of Auguste Comte (1798-1857). The leader of artistic realism was the French painter Gustave Courbet (1819-1877). Its advent revolutionized the history of art, leading to impressionism. In literature, various writers represented realism, from Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) to Henry James (1843-1916). Unlike in art, literary realism was rarely self-conscious or polemical.

The movement realism must be distinguished from the generic term realism the latter an aspect of much art and literature throughout time. In its general meaning, the word can refer to an optical or descriptive realism, in which forms or details appear to be drawn from life or produce an illusion of reality. In art, this type of realism is an ingredient in the high classicism of the Greek age of the Parthenon, in Roman portraiture, in certain Renaissance and Baroque styles, in Pre-Raphaelitism, and in photorealism, among many others. In literature, it is an aspect in certain passages of Homers Iliad, in the early novel generally, and in the provincial settings of Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) or the urban settings of James. Indeed, in literature, prose generally developed as a realist genre, as opposed to epic or lyric poetry. In theater, realism was associated primarily with comedy, whereas tragedy was considered more ideal. Following a related hierarchy, realism in art developed in opposition to academic classicism, which looked back to antiquity and the conventions of the French classical theater of Pierre Corneille (1606-1684) and Jean Racine (1639-1699) for its idealist forms.

The realism movement was a response to two interrelated factors. On the one hand, there was an increasing demand for rational and eventually scientific empiricism, which since the Enlightenment had been regarded as intellectually and socially progressive. The invention of photography in 1839, which introduced a new standard for optical realism, can be considered in the light of the same spirit, for there would otherwise have been no incentive or use for it. Second, the same rationalism encouraged the rights of the individual against both coercive political regimes and their art academies. Realism represented a rebellion, said to be grounded in truth, against academic recipes and conventions. When Courbets paintings of 1849 to 1855 made such attitudes militant, he adopted the term realism, which was being used by both his critics and supporters. A later term, naturalism, was developed as a more scientific-sounding, less-politicized alternative by the French novelist Émile Zola (1840-1902) and the art critic Jules Castagnary (1830-1888).

Realisms most coherent artistic manifestation occurred in mid-nineteenth-century France. It followed romanticism, which was already encouraging artistic freedom and self-expression, with artists looking to nature as their source. In his Realist Manifesto (1955), Courbet stated his aim as: to translate the customs, the ideas, the appearance of my epoch according to my own appreciation (Rubin 1997, pp. 157-158). Linking a faithful portrayal of his times with artistic independence (from teachings based on imitations of classical art), he made both elements the basis for the movement of which he became the undisputed leader. In the 1840s, Courbets generation drew on two related artistic trends. First was the Barbizon school of landscape painters, who studied people and places from a recognizable countryside, usually near Paris. Second was the recent popularity in literature and art of rural and provincial life. As a contrast to urban materialism and its inequities, the virtues and innocence of country folk were extolled in novels by George Sand (1804-1876) and stories by Courbets friend Champfleury (Jules Husson, 1821-1889). Painters like the Leleux brothers and Jean-François Millet (1814-1875) embodied this ethos in their representations of peasants. In addition, simple, often crude folk art and poetry were admired as naive expressions of popular culture and the working class.

The difference between Courbet and these artists was that, beginning with his Stonebreakers (1849, destroyed during World War II), the people, places, and activities in Courbets paintings appeared specifically contemporary, devoid of antimodern nostalgia, whereas his predecessors evoked a timelessness associated with romantic innocence and virtue. Courbets workers alluded to the harsh conditions of the 1840s, when failing harvests drove many off the land into day-wage labor, providing raw materials for modern roads, railroads, housing, and industry. A Burial at Ornans, painted in 1850, showed a ceremony outside Courbets hometown in the region of Franche-Comté near Switzerland. Against their rugged landscape, some thirty odd friends and neighbors gathered at the open grave of a respected citizen. Courbet portrays death as a prosaic, literally down-to-earth event whose meaning goes no further than laying the body in the ground. The huge canvas with life-sized figures flaunted Courbets challenge to assumptions about what was worthy of large-scale artistic representation, and his ostensibly coarse technique evoked a workers handicraft. Combined with their ostensible politics, the lower-class content and unrefined surfaces of his paintings caused a scandal. In 1855 Courbet challenged authority in a solo exhibition outside the grounds of the Universal Exposition. The central painting in his Realist Pavilion was The Studio of the Painter, in which he showed himself at the easel, supported by friends on the right and facing on the left a mix of figures embodying various ideas he considered outdated. The purpose of this much-interpreted painting was a declaration of both artistic freedom and solidarity with his own community.

Similar scandals shook the realm of literature. Earlier in the nineteenth century, Stendhal (Henri Beyle, 1783-1842) began the study of contemporary manners as a way to expose hypocrisy. In 1856 and 1857 respectively, Flaubert and the poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) were brought to trial for offending public morality. Flauberts novel Madame Bovary (1856) was about an adulterous housewife bored by her conventional husband. Poems from Baudelaires Les Fleurs du Mal (1857) were often set in contemporary Paris and sometimes described erotic experience in a highly suggestive manner. A decade later, Zola considered his own novels analytic. In a preface to his notorious murder story Thérèse Racquin (1867), he compared his way of representing subjectsan adulterous woman and her lover plotting to murder her husband to the scientific analysis performed by surgeons in medical dissections. In his art criticism, Zolas interpretation of the painting of Édouard Manet (1832-1883) was similar. Calling Manet a child of his times, in which the direction was toward positivism, Zola praised the artists Olympia (1863-1864), a painting of a naked prostitute that was obviously meant to shock. Zola wrote that this picture, drawn from modern life, was sincerely observed by a dispassionate artist whose sole interest was to observe forms, colors, light, and shade.

Realism was associated with impressionism when the latter first appeared, since impressionism took up the commitment to modern life and contemporary manners flaunted by Manet and the contemporary novel. The young Claude Monet (1840-1926) was friendly with and drew upon Courbet and his technique, as did several other impressionists. Their imagery ranged from sailboats, promenades, and other forms of modern leisure to representations of industrial riverbanks, railroads, and factories. But the greater legacy of realism was to free artists to paint sincerelythat is, from their personal vision, which they indicated by a highly individualized style, often loosely handled as if the performance of representation were as important as the subject matter being painted. Hence, impressionism, praised by many for capturing the reality of a fleeting moment, contained the seeds of the demise of realism. The artifice of its execution was in constant tension with its illusion of the real. Yet realism successfully undermined doctrinal academicism once and for all by legitimizing images of modern life, heroic or anecdotal, rural or urban, and painted in whatever way the artist chose. It even entered sculpture, though as a more literal medium sculpture was far less challenging to traditional modes of representation than was painting, until the liberties with form taken by the impressionist sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917).

Russian linguist Roman Jakobson (1896-1982) theorized that at the core of realism in art and literature is metonymy, a mode of figuration in which the part stands for the physical whole. The metonym is opposed to metaphor, in which an object stands for an idea; it is, in other words, a wholly concrete means of expression. Roland Barthes (1915-1980), in his famous short essay The Reality Effect (1968), pointed out that a profusion of observed detail in the realist novel slows the narrative, making it seem to advance almost unnoticeably, as if in real time, and making it appear to be the result of the concrete context established by such extensive description. In realist and impressionist painting, a sense of materiality and a dispersion of interest were achieved by a profusion of detail and a fragmentation of form across the entire image, along with subject matter from everyday modernity. Such painting was often compared to photography, the latter considered no more than a mechanical exercise, devoid of imagination and creativity. Painting was expected to emphasize certain truths in order to uplift and educate its audience, whereas photographys lack of selectivity made the edges of a composition as interesting as the center and seemed to negate the possibility of moral content.

The response to realism by establishment artists was to employ their labor toward a finished optical realism, as in the work of Léon Bonnat (1833-1922), or to incorporate occasional free paint handling, as did Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-1884). In other countries, realism reinforced existing trends in genre painting, as occurred in Holland (e.g., Jozef Israëls [1824-1911]) and England. The macchiaioli movement in Italy paralleled realism and impressionism, especially in outdoor scenes. Verismo in opera followed later, near the turn of the century. In Germany, where Courbet was popular, realist images acquired a grander scale and avant-garde technique, as seen in the work of Wilhelm Leibl (1844-1900) and Max Liebermann (1847-1935). Artists in the United States adopted realism, as exemplified by Thomas Eakins (1844-1916), then impressionism, as national styles, although usually without the avant-garde connotations. Later realisms, such as in Richard Estess displays of photograph-like technique or Eric Fischls suburban psycho-realism, were often ostentatious. Even in politics, first with Klemens von Metternich (1773-1859) in Austria, then with Willy Brandt (1913-1992) in Germany, there emerged a so-called realpolitik that looked to facts on the ground rather than ideology for its goals. Whatever its manifestations, then, realism continues to have a grip on consciousness thanks to its claim to represent reality truthfully, compared to forms of thought that defy material verification.

SEE ALSO Naturalism

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Auerbach, Erich. 1953. Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature. Trans. Willard R. Trask. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Becker, George J., ed. 1963. Documents of Modern Literary Realism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Nochlin, Linda. 1971. Realism. Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin.

Rubin, James H. 1997. Courbet. London: Phaidon.

Rubin, James H. 1999. Impressionism. London: Phaidon.

Weisberg, Gabriel P., ed. 1981. The Realist Tradition: French Paintings and Drawings, 1830-1900. Exhibition catalog. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art.

James H. Rubin

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Realism

REALISM.

Realism was a movement in nineteenth century Western culture that claimed to represent ordinary people and their everyday reality based on accurate observation. It challenged centuries of tradition when the highest art aspired to idealized pictorial forms and heroic subjects. Supporters considered its visual veracity to be an indication of an artist's "sincerity." Realism acquired a democratic political dimension from its inclusiveness and the accessibility of its imagery to ordinary people unversed in the classics but capable of recognizing "truth." Its moral appeal was informed by progressive attitudes and an empirical concept of knowledge. Social theory and scientific epistemology, as in the writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (18091865) and Auguste Comte (17981857), converged in what was called Positivism. The leader of artistic Realism was the French painter, Gustave Courbet (18191877). Its advent revolutionized the history of art.

The artistic movement Realism must be distinguished from "realism"the latter an aspect of most figurative art throughout time. In its general meaning, the word can refer to optical realism (in which forms or details are based on nature, as in Pre-Raphaelitism or Photo-Realism); psychological realism (in which sometimes distorted forms convey emotion, as in Expressionism); or illusionism (in which careful technique makes even imagined forms seem present, as in Surrealism). Realism paralleled the invention of photography in 1839, which introduced a new standard for optical realism while also being a technological response to the same conditions as artistic Realism. A later term, Naturalism, was developed as a more scientific-sounding, less politicized alternative by the novelist Emile Zola and the art critic Jules Castagnary.

Realism's most coherent artistic manifestation was in mid-nineteenth century France. It followed Romanticism, which encouraged artistic freedom and self-expression, looking to nature as their source. In his Realist Manifesto, Courbet stated his aim as: "to translate the customs, the ideas, the appearance of my epoch according to my own appreciation." Linking faithful portrayal of his times with artistic independence (from teachings based on imitations of classical art), he made both elements the basis for the movement of which he became the undisputed leader.

In the 1840s, Courbet's generation drew on two related artistic trends. First was the Barbizon School of landscape painters, who studied people and places from a recognizable countryside, usually near Paris. Second was the recent popularity in literature and art of provincial and rural life. As a contrast to urban materialism and its inequities, the virtues and innocence of country folk were extolled in novels by George Sand and stories by Courbet's friend Champfleury (Jules Husson). Painters such as the Leleux brothers and Jean-François Millet embodied this ethos in their representations of peasants. In addition, simple, often crude folk art and poetry were admired as naïve expressions of popular culture and the working class.

The difference between Courbet and these artists was that, beginning with his Stonebreakers (1849, Dresden, Kunstmuseum, destroyed, World War II), Courbet's people, places, and activities appeared specifically contemporary, devoid of anti-modern nostalgia, whereas his predecessors evoked a timelessness associated with Romantic innocence and virtue. Courbet's workers alluded to the harsh conditions of the 1840s, when failing harvests drove many off the land into day-wage labor. They were providing raw materials for modern infrastructureroads, railroads, housing, and industry. Courbet's direction was encouraged by the left-wing Revolution of 1848, and thereafter his work was associated with Socialism.

A Burial at Ornans (Paris, Musée d'Orsay) painted in 1850, showed a ceremony outside Courbet's hometown in the region of Franche-Comté, near Switzerland. Against their rugged landscape, some thirty odd friends and neighbors gather at the open grave of a respected citizen. Courbet portrays death as a prosaic, literally "down-to-earth" event whose meaning goes no further than laying the body in the ground. Lacking the traditional apparatus of pictorial composition or religious interpretation, Courbet's picture would normally have been considered a genre paintinglower on the scale of values than academic history painting. His rows of mourners seemed merely additive rather than dramatically coherent, hence related to folk imagery. Yet the huge canvas with life-sized figures flaunted Courbet's challenge to assumptions about what was worthy of large-scale artistic representation, and his ostensibly coarse technique evoked a worker's handicraft. Both the Stonebreakers and the Burial earned Courbet heated criticism, making him a public figure and Realism a powerful force.

In 1855, Courbet challenged authority in a solo exhibition outside the grounds of the Universal Exposition of 1855. The central painting in his "Realist Pavilion" was The Painter's Studio (Paris, Musée d'Orsay) in which he showed himself at the easel, supported by friends on the right and facing on the left a mix of figures embodying various ideas he considered outdated. The purpose of this much-interpreted painting was a declaration of artistic freedom, accompanied by the "Realist Manifesto," mentioned earlier.

Elsewhere, Courbet declared "Realism is the negation of the ideal" and that through it, he would "arrive at freedom." He saw Realism as a liberation of human consciousness from false ideology in order to take control of one's destiny. His ideas drew on the writings of his countryman and acquaintances, the radical philosopher Proudhon, who introduced materialist social thought to France in the 1840s, at the same time as Karl Marx's early writing.

Realism was associated with Impressionism when the latter first appeared, since Impressionism took up the commitment to modern life and contemporary surroundings. Edouard Manet was guided by these principles, although he looked to the example of Spanish realism and concentrated on urban leisure rather than rural labor. The young Claude Monet was friendly with and drew upon Courbet and his technique, as did several other Impressionists. But the greater legacy of Realism was to free artists to paint "sincerely,"from their personal vision. Realism successfully undermined doctrinal academicism by legitimizing images of modern life, heroic or anecdotal, rural or urban, and painted as the artist chose. Realism even entered sculpture, as in the work of Jules Dalou.

The response of establishment artists was to employ their labor toward a finished optical realism, as in Léon Bonnat, or to incorporate occasional free paint handling, as did Jules Bastien-Lepage. In other countries, Realism reinforced existing trends in genre painting, as in Holland (such as Jozef Israëls) and England. I Macchiaoli in Italy paralleled Realism and Impressionism, especially in outdoor scenes. Verismo in opera followed later. In Germany, where Courbet was popular, Realist images acquired a grander scale and avant-garde technique, as in William Leibl and Max Liebermann. The United States adopted Realism, as in Thomas Eakins, then Impressionism, as national styles, though usually without the avant-garde connotations. Later Realisms were often ostentatious, as in Richard Estes's displays of photograph-like technique, or Eric Fischl's Suburban Psycho-Realism.

Courbet's militancy during the Paris Commune led to exile in Switzerland, where he died. In an effort to rehabilitate him, writers even during his lifetime minimized Realism's politics in favor of an aesthetic of the sincere and natural eye. Around the mid-twentieth century, Meyer Schapiro and Linda Nochlin pointed out the historical origins of Realism, with its links to popular imagery and Dutch art implying its democratic cast. Nochlin's general book on Realism remains the standard. In the mid 1970s, Marxist art historian T. J. Clark's work on Courbet and his contemporaries faced the political issues directly, launching a revitalization in art history referred to as the Social History of Art. Since then, various noted scholars have sought to rehabilitate as Realists the many painters of contemporary life who were overshadowed by Courbet.

Whatever its manifestations, Realism continues to have a grip on consciousness thanks to its claim to represent "reality" more truthfully than other forms of art.

See also Impressionism ; Naturalism ; Naturalism in Art and Literature ; Periodization of the Arts .

bibliography

Clark, Timothy J. Image of the People: Gustave Courbet and the Second French Republic, 18481851. London: Thames and Hudson, 1982.

Herding, Klaus. Courbet: To Venture Independence. Translated by John William Gabriel. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1991.

Nochlin, Linda. Realism. Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin, 1971.

Rubin, James Henry. Coubert. London: Phaidon Press, 1997.

Seigel, Jerrold E. Bohemian Paris: Culture, Politics and the Boundaries of Bourgeois Life. New York: Viking Press, 1986.

Weisberg, Gabriel P., ed. The Realist Tradition: French Painting and Drawing, 18301900. Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland Museum of Art; Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981.

James H. Rubin

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Realism

Realism


Realism is the doctrine that existence is separate from conceptions of it. People may think and talk of different entities, but the entities themselves have a reality that is logically independent of thought and language. This may seem a matter of common sense; surely chairs and tables do not exist only in so far as one thinks of them, or perhaps perceives them. People do not conjure things into existence through their minds, in the way that dreams create a world that vanishes when one wakes up. Yet to appeal to common sense is to appeal to the philosophical views of previous generations that have gained common currency. The position itself needs some philosophical justification. Dr. Samuel Johnson is supposed to have dealt with Bishop George Berkeley's idealism by simply kicking a stone and exclaiming "I refute it thus!": This is hardly an argument.


Contention with idealism

Realism is in fact most often opposed to idealism. The latter claims that all reality is a construction out of mental processes. As Berkeley (16851753) said in his Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, "To be is to be perceived." In other words, what exists does so because it is perceived, and is not perceived because it exists. The latter would be the realist position. Yet Berkeley's position not only makes all reality mental, it also restricts what can exist to what is within the range of someone perceiving it. Berkeley met this by appealing to the omniscience of God, so that everything is perceived by God, and therefore exists. The danger is that God is removed from the picture; this is a move empiricism tends to encourage. The view then becomes one that ties reality to actual or possible human experience. This, in turn, makes reality anthropocentric. What humans cannot perceive cannot exist. Since contemporary physics wishes to deal with subatomic particles and other unobservable entities, such as, say, the interior of a black hole, this does not seem to give an adequate account of the assumptions of present-day science.

Although realism may be classically opposed to idealist tying of existence to mind, realism comes in many shapes and sizes. It can be a global, metaphysical doctrine, or it can be limited to particular areas of human activity. One could be a realist about the objects of scientific investigation, but not about the concerns of morality. The main point of realism, though, is always to pull apart the fact of existence from issues concerning how anyone can know what exists. Ontology and epistemology should not be confused. (So-called critical realism tends to link the two). The metaphysical realist will stress the objectivity of the "world" or whatever exists. It cannot depend in any way on the way people think about it or discover it. Even scientific realism may seem realist in its insistence on the independent reality of the objects of science. It can, however, become antirealist when it asserts that only the objects of science can exist. In other words, existence is then restricted to what lies within the scope of actual or conceivable science. Because that must be human science, reality is being artificially restricted to what is within the scope of human capabilities to discover.


Ontological bases of science and religion

The focus of realism must always be reality, and not issues of how one can come to know reality. Otherwise questions about existence become changed into questions about human abilities. What lies beyond human abilities cannot even be conceived to exist. A major motive for scientific research is the knowledge of human ignorance. The world is not limited to present knowledge, nor to what people are able to discover. This becomes of crucial importance in the field of religion, which is normally understood as attempting to talk of what is transcendent, or ontologically separate, from the world with which people are normally familiar. Empiricist philosophy from the time of David Hume (17111776) has attempted to restrict language to what is within human experience. This is always to change the subject from reality to human knowledge. Yet realism cannot rest content with metaphysical assertions about the status of reality. A reality to which people are oblivious is no better than nothing at all. Ontology needs epistemology: It is just not identical to it.

Both science and religion need a strong realist underpinning. They must be about something. Science has to assume that it is investigating a world that has an independent existence. Otherwise it is a mere social construction reflecting the conditions of particular societies at a particular time. Similarly, any religion must assume that it is concerned with a reality that is not the creation of human imagination. Theism must have a realist outlook. It is making claims about an objective reality that are contradicted by atheism, itself also a realist view. Indeed, if God or other spiritual realities are mere projections of human thought or language, religion is guilty of a massive bout of wishful thinking. If the realities described do not actually exist, there is no ground for any cosmic optimism. The antirealist may complain that this is already assuming a realist interpretation of religion. Yet, the idea that neither religion nor science engage with anything beyond themselves seems to negate their most important function of claiming truth. If they are conceived of as conceptual schemes, practices, or forms of life, with no external justification, there seems no point in taking part in them. There can be no justification or reason for being religious, or doing science.

According to realist understanding, however, there is an independent world for both science and religion to relate to. Moreover, each purports in various ways to describe parts of the same objective world. This in itself provides sufficient ground for trying to show connections between the two. Whatever their distinctive methods, one can not rule out either the possibility of conflict or of mutual support. For example, if this is God's world, this might give an explanation for the inherent order and regularity, which science needs to assume, in order to generalise from particular findings.


See also Critical Realism


Bibliography

altson, walter. "realism and the christian faith." international journal for philosophy of religion 38 (1995): 1-3, 37-60.

hick, john. an interpretation of religion. london: macmillan, 1989.

phillips, d.z. "on really believing." in wittgenstein and religion. london: macmillan, 1993.

phillips, d. z. "philosophy, theology, and the reality of god." in wittgenstein and religion, london: macmillan, 1993.

polkinghorne, john c. beyond science. cambridge, uk: cambridge university press, 1996.

runzo, joseph, ed. is god real? new york: st. martin's press, 1993.

trigg, roger. reality at risk: a defence of realism in philosophy and the sciences, 2nd edition. hemel hempstead, uk: harvester wheatsheaf, 1989.

trigg, roger. rationality and religion: does faith need reason? oxford and malden, mass.: blackwell publishers, 1998.

roger trigg

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realism

re·al·ism / ˈrēəˌlizəm/ • n. 1. the attitude or practice of accepting a situation as it is and being prepared to deal with it accordingly: the summit was marked by a new mood of realism. ∎  the view that the subject matter of politics is political power, not matters of principle: political realism is the oldest approach to global politics. 2. the quality or fact of representing a person, thing, or situation accurately or in a way that is true to life: the earthy realism of Raimu's characters. ∎  (in art and literature) the movement or style of representing familiar things as they actually are.Often contrasted with idealism (sense 1). 3. Philos. the doctrine that universals or abstract concepts have an objective or absolute existence. The theory that universals have their own reality is sometimes called Platonic realism because it was first outlined by Plato's doctrine of “forms” or ideas. Often contrasted with nominalism. ∎  the doctrine that matter as the object of perception has real existence and is neither reducible to universal mind or spirit nor dependent on a perceiving agent. Often contrasted with idealism (sense 2). DERIVATIVES: re·al·ist / ˈrēəlɨst/ n.

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realism (in art)

realism, in art, the movement of the mid-19th cent. formed in reaction against the severely academic production of the French school. Realist painters sought to portray what they saw without idealizing it, choosing their subjects from the commonplaces of everyday life. Major realists included Gustave Courbet, J. F. Millet, and Honoré Daumier. In a broader sense the term is applied to an unembellished rendering of natural forms. In recent years realism has come to mean the presentation of forms and materials that are simply themselves, not primarily representations of things that already exist.

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realism

realism Broad term in art history, often interchangeable with naturalism. It is frequently used to define art that tries to represent objects accurately and without emotional bias. It also denotes a movement in 19th-century French art, led by Gustave Courbet, that revolted against conventional, historical or mythological subjects and focused on unidealized scenes of modern life. Superrealism is a 20th-century movement, in which real objects are depicted in very fine detail so that the overall effect appears unreal. See also socialist realism

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realism

realism Philosophical doctrine according to which universal concepts, as well as tangible things, exist in their own right, outside the human mind that recognizes or perceives them. The idea developed from a medieval view that ‘universals’ are real entities rather than simply names for things. Realism was thus opposed to nominalism. Some philosophers rejected this view in favour of moderate realism, which held that ‘universals’ exist only in the mind of God. See also idealism

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"realism." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/realism-0

realism

realism. Musically this term is applied to (1) operas where the plot or characters are said to be ‘true to life’ (verismo) as distinct from remote.(2) The attitude which was required by the Communist party bureaucracy from Soviet Union composers, meaning that their mus. should be optimistic, easily comprehended, and ‘of the people’.

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"realism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"realism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/realism

"realism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/realism

realism

realism See photorealism.

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"realism." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"realism." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/realism

"realism." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/realism