Realisim and Impressionism

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Realism and Impressionism Throughout history, artistic styles have evolved along with, and many times have been motivated by, the evolution of culture. Many artistic styles are developed through the refinement of a preceding era’s techniques. Realism and Impressionism are examples of artistic evolution through through their defiance of social norms and the evolution of a shifting perspective from the upper class to everyday society. Realism Artistic realism appeared in France during the 1830’s and lasted through the 1870's. Realism was “a reaction to the excess of Romanticism and Neoclassicism” (Realism, n.d.). Gustave Courbet, whom many refer to as the founder of Realism “challenged convention” through his style of painting in a manner that portrayed everyday life realistically. Courbet's style was profoundly different than the popular Romantic art which dominated French Salons at this time (Gailitz, n.d.). In 1667 the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris began sponsoring an annual art exhibit in the Salon d'Apollon. The Salon became a cultural “hub” for the art world in France to which artists were reliant on for success for the next two centuries. It was the Salon's tightly controlled, conservative, government monopoly that Realists such as Courbet rebelled against instead turning to independent exhibitions to display their work (Salon, n.d.). Realism was also influenced by French societies increasing demands for democracy. King Louis Philippe was seen as governing for the wealthy, unable to relate to common man, which ultimately led to him abdicating his throne during a revolution in 1847 (Louis-Philippe, n.d.). This abdication resulted with the proclamation of France’s second republic. Amongst many changes brought about by the French revolution, it also opened the door for foreign artists to exhibit works at the Salon (Salon, n.d.). It was set against this
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