Although I rarely practice art myself, I do still find a keen fascination in the study of art and it’s vast history. If you, like me, have a love of history and art through the ages, I invite you to continue exploring eras of art, granting a deeper understanding of how art has evolved. The most recent decade of art we are lead to is the era of Realism as we decompose it’s culture and concepts.

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What’s broadly considered the beginning of “modern art” is also known as Realism. In a sense, all art seeks to reveal a certain kind of truth. Dating all the way back to ancient Rome, when sculptors sought to portray the undeniable beauty of the human body, and throughout every artistic era since, truth has been an essential key to art.

Realism get’s its name from connecting art with everyday life. From social status, politics, economics and culture relating to the nineteenth century combined ideal beauty of art with a dark reality that wasn’t always so pleasant.

The not-so-pleasant color palettes of dark and earthy tones portray the unfortunate moments of life filled with dismay. Like other eras of art throughout history, Realism defied the conformities of art rules. This was perhaps considered to be the first movement in art history that broke away from the typical standards and dynamics. Social morals and values began to appear in the art market, regardless of what the monarchy wanted.

Young artists among the Realism era were aware of a vastly changing world, unable to ignore it in their work. Art became contemporary, not following the ways of the past prior to the mid-nineteenth century. Thus, artists removed their focus on ancient gods and biblical stories, bring their art to the relatable social economics of a changing culture among the artists actual time.

Gustave Courbet was a major influential artist in this century, as he believed that he should only paint what he could see – something in real time during his age of art. He became a leader to young artists, where paintings were specifically relating to real life.

Realism is an era of art that brought attention to everyday people. From the rich to the poor, class did not determine what was or wasn’t painted. Artists simply painted what they observed, considering themselves rebels against conventional and academic art, which I mentioned in a previous post. Realism portrayed modern life among the nineteenth century, changing how artists could view life and art itself.