Romanticism to Realism

Romanticism to Realism

Paintings like this had a long academic history and were popular with audiences and critics. Within the academic discourse of beauty, this kind of eroticism was very acceptable
Turner's work was the epitome of Romantic painting. This was considered a contemporary history painting, the highest genre of academic art.
Typical of Constable...authentic climatic conditions, a bucolic and rural subject with little reference to issues of class or labor. Landowners liked these paintings and the landscape became one of the most popular academic genres.
Constable's attention to details of vegetation created an authenticity that landscapes had lacked and this is also what influenced young Realist artists who wanted to push the genre even further.
Another example, this time German, of how evocative Romanticism could be.
This kind of fluid brushwork would influence modern artists as they shifted away from focusing on narratives and toward the medium itself. A trajectory from the highly representational to the highly abstract is a hallmark of modern art.
No other artist was as successful in heroicizing the peasant worker. Millet often used biblical references to reinforce the role and value of peasants. In this painting, the powerful central figures is triangular which emphasized stability in a formal sense, but he is also a parallel to Christ. Notice that the features are blurred intentionally which universalizes the figure and by doing that, the artist ennobled the peasant even more.
Daumier was better known for his satirical caricatures so he had a wide public audience. This painting demonstrates Realist influences in his representation of French working class travelers. Even the use of browns and gold tie the figures to the rural backgrounds. Notice how he illuminated the faces and depicts the two main women in poses that reference the Virgin: one cradling an infant, the other with her hands clasped in prayer.
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