Realism portrays the real world without drama, emotion or glorification. This style tries to minimize the artistic interpretation. The aim is to depict life within its own natural surroundings, often including the banal and mundane.
Realistic paintings are meant to convey the exact message of that particular moment. To maintain this style of painting, it is acceptable for an artist to use compositional elements in order to communicate more accurately the true meaning of an incident without altering the scope of the event.
It was developed in France during the second half of the 1800s as a form of reaction against the Romantic style that predominated at the time. In this time, the photography also developed. Gustave Courbet of France is often credited with being the creator of the modern realistic style. His painting depicting the funeral of his relative in Ornans from 1848 is widely credited as being the beginnings of this new artistic style.
There are many other artists that have incorporated the use of realism in their works. These include Jean Baptist Simeon Chardin and Charles-Francois Daubigny.
To name a few other subcategories, realism includes:
It is common to use the terms naturism and realism interchangeably. In their original setting, real events and subjects are depicted.
Photo-Realism (or Hyper-Realism) is a technique that pays close attention to every single detail. The final result can be compared to an oversized sharply focused photo.
Classical Realism refers to a movement relatively new that aims at restoring the traditional painting styles and techniques of pre-20th Century artists. Photographs are not used by artists, who rely instead on their own observational abilities.
Fantastic Realism combines religious symbolism with realistic painting techniques from the Old Masters (prior to 1828).
Social Realism was born out of the American Financial Depression that lasted from the 1930s. Artworks of Social Realism were meant to portray in an accurate manner the devastation and injustices that occurred during this time.
Romantic Realism portrays their subjects as realistically, with freedom to include the possible outcomes of what could or should happen based upon traditional romanticism.