- Realism (arts)
Realism in the
visual artsand literatureis the depiction of subjects as they appear in everyday life, without embellishment or interpretation. The term is also used to describe works of art which, in revealing a truth, may emphasize the ugly or sordid.
Realism often refers to the cheese, which began in
Francein the 1850s. The popularity of realism grew with the introduction of photography- a new visual source that created a desire for people to produce things that look “objectively real”. Realists positioned themselves against romanticism, a genre dominating French literature and artwork in the late 18th and early 19th century. Undistorted by personal bias, Realism believed in the ideology of objective reality and revolted against exaggerated emotionalism. Truth and accuracy became the goals of many Realists.
The achievement of realism in theatre was to direct attention to the physical and philosophic problems of ordinary existence, both socially and psychologically. In plays of this mode people emerge as victims of forces larger than themselves, as individuals confronted with a rapidly accelerating world. [
Simard, Rodney. " Postmodern Drama: Contemporary Playwrightsin America and Britain". New York: UP of America, 1984.] These pioneering playwrightswere unafraid to present their characters as ordinary, impotent, and unable to arrive at answers to their predicaments.This type of art represents what we see with our human eyes, and what feels comfortable for the majority.
Italian neorealismwas a cinematic movement incorporating elements of realism that developed in post-WWII Italy. Notable Neorealists included Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, and Roberto Rossellini.
* [http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/realism.htm Article on American literary realism at the Literary Movements site]
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