MCA 14

"Every age projects its own images into its art." The realistic period from 1850 to 1880 may have been shorter than many other art movements but it is no different because of this. It still has a central focus and its own characteristics. Realism paid more attention to the social problems and the social context of its day rather than just the aristocracy, and fantasy-like visions. Because of this, the people portrayed in the paintings were not idealized but left as they were: peasants and workers. This art form was based on the facts which is why it may appear to be gritty as this was when the Industrial Revolution was making progress in the area of trains. These paintings had a certain robustness and energy which was conveyed through bold lines, strong tonal contrasts, a broad handling of paint and a somber palette. Also, realism is often associated with positivism and Realpolitik. The artists included in this gallery are Jean-Francois Millet and Honore Daumier, although Gustave Courbet led the realist movement.

This painting contains bold lines and a broad handling of paint to help the viewer feel the subject's energy and audacity as he begins an uprising that will soon turn into a revolt. This is just one of many pieces that reflect these turbulent times.
This piece demonstrates a more generalizing of figures to allude to how this could be almost anyone, not just a strict class of people anymore. There is also a use of somber colors to depict the feeling of two people as they set off for a long day of hard work.
This painting explores one of the very central themes of realism: the working lives of the poor. The three figures demonstrate the repetitiveness of the work by bending over, picking up the corn, and straightening back up again.
This sketch demonstrates the poverty that many people lived in at these times. Many civilians would turn whatever they could afford into a stew, or gruel, which sounds much less appetizing. As can be seen in the painting, the woman must also feed the small child seated on her lap.
This painting also demonstrates the long, tedious workday that many agricultural (as well as industrial) workers had to go through. This piece is centralized around the man and woman in the center who are dealing with the repetitive planting of potatoes in just one field of many, as an be seen by the many fields in the background.
This is piece is screaming with realism from the title to the people portrayed within. The people aren't idealized and were painted almost crudely, with a gritty feeling to the whole piece. This demonstrates realism at its finest in portraying the problems of society demanding too much with the passengers slumped over, just barely getting a nap in from their long day.
This painting has very somber tones to convey a sense of weariness and the generalized features of the mother and child underline the dehumanizing effects of the labor that even laundresses were put through.
Although the date of the piece is unknown, it does show that even though times were rough, there were some highlights, such as fireworks. We can still tell this is realism because of the grittier appearance and the tonal contrasts.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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