Realism in Art

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.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Realism: A Study in Art and Thought
Arthur McDowall.
Constable, 1918
American Painting of the Nineteenth Century: Realism, Idealism, and the American Experience
Barbara Novak.
Icon Editions, 1979 (2nd edition)
Painting and Sculpture in Europe, 1780 to 1880
Fritz Novotny.
Penguin Books, 1960
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "Realism in France" and Chap. 14 "Under the Sign of Realism"
American Literary Realism and the Problem of Trompe l'Oeil Painting
Trubek, Anne.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 34, No. 3, September 2001
An Outline of 19th Century European Painting: From David through Cézanne
Lorenz Eitner.
Westview Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Realism"
Documents of American Realism and Naturalism
Donald Pizer.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Ten "Realism in Literature and Art"
The Immortal Eight; American Painting from Eakins to the Armory Show (1870-1913)
Bennard B. Perlman.
Exposition Press, 1962
Daumier: Paintings and Drawings: An Exhibition Organized by the Arts Council of Great Britain at the Tate Gallery
.
Arts Council of Great Britain, 1961
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