Realism: Art and Literature

Realism: Art and Literature

Realism, considered to be one of the earliest modern movements in art, rejected conventional art, writing, and social association as antiquated in the wake of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. 

As Realism began in  France in the 1840s, it altered a painting, growing origination of what constituted art. Working in a disorganized period set apart by upset and broad social change, Realist painters supplanted the optimistic pictures and artistic pride of customary art with real-life events, giving the edges of society comparable weight to amazing history compositions and moral stories.

Their choice to bring the regular day to day life into their canvases was an early appearance of the cutting edge want to combine art and life, and their dismissal of pictorial systems, similar to point of view, prefigured the numerous twentieth-century definitions and redefinition of modernism.


While Romanticism may have rejected certain principles of Neoclassicism, it didn’t definitely change the seventeenth and eighteenth-century establishments of art and society. The close unending condition of insurgency in France in the nineteenth century gave a driving force to sanction a more radical change.

Neoclassicism and Romanticism were rejected by the realists as escapist though issues brought by the turbulent nineteenth century, Realism started in France as a social part of a bigger reaction to regularly evolving administration, military occupation and financial abuse of the colonies, and industrialization and urbanization in the urban areas. 

Authenticity, more than the basic portrayal of nature, was an endeavor to arrange oneself in the “real”, in logical, moral, and political conviction. Another chief impact on Realism was the explosion of socially based journalism and caricature toward the start of the July Monarchy (1830-48). 

Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet, (1854), Gustave
Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet, (1854), Gustave Courbet

Engraving empowered Daumier to circulate his basic creations as it could be recreated and spread in the press

He continued to make the Realist lithograph Rue Transnonain, le 15 Avril (1834), which demonstrated the ruthless fallout of slaughter of innocent laborers by the French government after being imprisoned for a half year. 

The work was considered so intense and dangerous to the government that Louis-Philippe sent men to buy however many duplicates as could be allowed to be destroyed.



Gustave Courbet was the main artist who deliberately broadcasted and practiced the realist style. The artist exhibits his immense canvas The Studio (1854– 55) and other works under the name “Realism, G. Courbet after they were dismissed by the Exposition Universelle of 1855” in an extraordinarily developed structure. 

Courbet was explicitly contradicted to glorification in his artworks, and he encouraged other artists to rather make the ordinary and contemporary themes to be the focal point of their art. 

He saw the forthright depiction of scenes from regular day to day life as a realist law based art. Such artworks as his Burial at Ornans (1849) and the Stone Breakers (1849), which he had shown in the Salon of 1850– 51, had officially stunned people in general and critics by the straightforward and unadorned factuality with which they portrayed humble peasants and workers. 

The fact that Courbet did not glorify his laborers but rather exhibited them strikingly and blatantly made a vicious response in the art world.

The Gleaners, (1857), Jean-Francois
The Gleaners, (1857), Jean-Francois Millet

The style and topic of Courbet’s work were based on the ground effectively broken by the painters of the Barbizon School. Theodore Rousseau, Charles-François Daubigny, Jean-François Millet, and others in the mid-1830s settled in the French town of Barbizon with the intention of loyally replicating the local character of the landscape

Despite the fact that each Barbizon painter had his own particular style and particular interests, they all underlined in their works the simple and ordinary as opposed to the vainglorious and magnificent of nature. 

They got some distance from sensational beauty, exaggerated picturesqueness and depicted strong, detailed forms that were the consequence of close perception. Millet became the first artist to depict peasant workers with loftiness and monumentality rather than the more important people of the society. 

Another significant French artist frequently related to the realist movement, Honore Daumier, drew ironical caricatures of French society and governmental issues. 

He discovered his average workers’ saints and courageous women and his despicable lawyers and government officials in the ghettos and lanes of Paris. Like Courbet, he was an enthusiastic Democrat, and he utilized his ability as a caricaturist straightforwardly in the administration of political points. 

Daumier found immorality and offensiveness in French society which he depicted with a relatively sculptural treatment, strikingly highlighted sensible detail, lively straight style in his paintings.

Stonebreakers, (1849), Gustave
Stonebreakers, (1849), Gustave Courbet

Pictorial realism outside of France was maybe best spoke in the nineteenth century in the United States. There, and Thomas Eakin‘s drifting scenes, representation and other works and Winslow Homer’s intense and expressive artistic creations of marine subjects are unsentimental, intensely observed and straight to the point, and records of ordinary life. 

The unpleasant, scrappy, relatively journalistic scenes of seamy urban life by the group of American painters known as The Eight fall into the former category. 

The Depression-era movement which is also known as Social Realism embraced an also unforgiving and coordinated authenticity in its portrayals of the prejudices and indecencies of American culture.

Rue Transnonain, (15 April 1834), Honore
Rue Transnonain, (15 April 1834), Honore daumier

Its “truthfulness” was required to serve the philosophy and the propagandistic needs of the state. Social Realism utilized strategies of naturalistic admiration to make pictures of dauntless laborers and engineers who were strikingly indistinguishable in both their brave positivism.


Comprehensively characterized as “the faithful portrayal of reality”, Realism as a scholarly movement depended on “objective reality.” It concentrated on indicating ordinary activities and life, predominantly among the middle or lower class society, without sentimental glorification or dramatization. 

It might be viewed as the general endeavor to delineate subjects as they are considered to exist in third individual objective reality, without adornment or understanding and “as per common, experimental rules.” As such, the approach inalienably suggests a conviction that such reality is ontologically autonomous of mankind’s reasonable plans, linguistic practices, and beliefs, and hence can be known to the artist, who can thus speak to this ‘reality’ authentically.

Song of the Lark(1884) Jules
Song of the Lark(1884) Jules Berton


While the former Romantic period was likewise a response against the estimations of the Industrial Revolution, realism was in its turn a response to romanticism, and therefore it is additionally usually derogatorily introduced as “traditional” “bourgeois realism“. 

Some authors of Victorian literature delivered works of realism. The rigidities, traditions, and different constraints of “middle-class realism,” incited in their turn, the revolt later marked as Modernism; beginning around 1900, the driving thought process of modernist literature. 


The accomplishment of realism in the theater was to guide consideration regarding the social and political issues of accustomed life. In its shows, peoples rise as victims of powers larger than themselves, as people faced with a swiftly accelerating world. 

These revolutionary writers were unafraid to exhibit their characters as conventional, barren, and unfit to touch base at answers to their dilemmas. This sort of art speaks to what we see with our human eyes.

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Pablo Picasso 4. Salvador Dali 5. Frida Kahlo

Indian Artist

1.G.R. Santosh  2. Jai Zharotia 3. Ramkinkar Vaij 4. Dhan Raj Bhagat 5. Somnath Hore 6. Raja Ravi Varma 7. Ratnabali Kant 8. Satish Gujral  9. Anjolie Ela Menon 10. Jagdish Swaminathan   11. Bishamber Khanna  12. Shanti Dave  13. Om Prakash  14. A Ramachandran 15. Arpita Singh 16. Gulam Mohammad Sheikh  17. Biren De  18. Manjit Bawa 19. Gogi Saroj Pal  20. Arpana Caur 21. Vivan Sundaram  22.Amar Nath Sehgal 23. Jatin Das  24.Meera Mukherjee 25. P. V. Janakiram 26. Ved Nayar 27. Mrinalini Mukherjee  28. Lydia Mehta 29. Krishna Reddy 30. Surindra Chadha 31. Anupam Sud 32. Sankho Chaudhuri 33. Gaganendranath Tagore 34. Rabindranath Tagore 35. Nandalal Bose  36. Abanindranath Tagore 37. Jamini Roy 38. Amrita Sher-Gil 39. A. R. Chughtai  40. Zainul Abedin 41. George Keyt 42. M.F. Husain 43. Binod Bihari Mukharji 44. K. G. Subramanyan  45. Krishen Khanna  46. Tyeb Mehta  47. Ram Kumar 48. Pran Nath Mago 49. F.N. Souza 50. B.C.Sanyal 51. K.S.Kulkarni 52. HarKrishan Lal 53. Jahangir Sabavala 54. Sailoz Mukherjee 55. N. S. Bendre  56. K.K.Hebbar 57. Bimal Das Gupta  

Female Artists:

1.Amrita Sher-Gil  2. Arpana Caur  3. Anupam Sud   4. Lydia Mehta   5. Mrinalini Mukherjee   6. Meera Mukherjee   7. Ratnabali Kant

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