Realism and Impressionism

Topics: Impressionism, History of painting, Art history Pages: 2 (1250 words) Published: October 27, 2014

Realism & Impressionism

Over the centuries there have been many different art periods. Two of these periods are Realism and Impressionism. The similarities, differences, time periods, and descriptions of these periods will be discussed. Also, a piece of art from each period will be discussed and then compared to that of the other period. Realism is defined as being the theory or practice of keeping to the reality of the subject without any additional embellishments. This particular period, from around 1850 to 1880, was known for its’ works being completely based on reality. They were based on things found in the natural, observable world. The works directly represented the subject as accurately and completely as it could be. Some artists used this form of art to paint structures or materials, others used it to paint people or scenes (Stokstad, 2005). Realism artists rejected the romance of the poor as well as the excellence of the upper class. They chose subjects that were from somewhere in the middle, the middle class. They depicted the subjects as they were: common views of day to day life. They painted moral visions of those in an average society (Smith, 2000). The painters of realism chose their scenes, whether it be a person, a place, a natural landscape, and painted it with complete strokes. They made the work look finished. Realism artist made everything look as close to real life as they could. They did not add any supernatural aspects or elevate their subject to any new plane of being, just portrayed them as they saw them (Stokstad, 2005). Impressionism is defined as a theory or practice of painting the real, or natural, appearance of their subjects by dabbing their paintbrush rather than using strokes to complete the picture. They used primary colors that were unmixed to mirror the effect of direct light. This particular period, from 1870-1910, was known for its devotion to subjects from the upper class, the city, leisure...

Bibliography: Piper, David (1991). The Illustrated History of Art. Avenel, NJ: Outlet Book Company, INC.
Smith, Christopher (2000). American Realism. Sandiego, CA: Greenhaven Press, INC.
Stokstad, Marylin (2005). Art History: Revised Second Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, INC.
Welton, Jude (1993). Impressionism. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.
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