Term that has been used with many different meanings It is predominantly applied to painting, and in its broadest sense it describes any art depicting actual, rather than religious and imaginary, subject-matter It implies a style in which the artist tries to observe and then faithfully record the subject before him without deliberate idealization or stylization The term has been used more specifically and (sometimes confusingly) in relation to 19th-century art, particularly French art, both as a synonym for REALISM and as a label for certain mutually exclusive subcurrents of it Nevertheless, a more selfconscious development, Naturalism, can be discerned in the 19th century, which is centred on the ideas of Jules-Angoine Castagnary and Emilie Zola

Realism in the arts is the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, implausible, exotic and supernatural elements

Realism has been prevalent in the arts at many periods, and is in large part a matter of technique and training, and the avoidance of stylization In the visual arts, illusionistic realism is the accurate depiction of lifeforms, perspective, and the details of light and colour Realist works of art may emphasize the mundane, ugly or sordid, such as works of social realism, regionalism, or kitchen sink realism

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There have been various realism movements in the arts, such as the opera style of verismo, literary realism, theatrical realism and Italian neorealist cinema The realism art movement in painting began in France in the 1850s, after the 1848 Revolution The realist painters rejected Romanticism, which had come to dominate French literature and art, with roots in the late 18th century

Realism is the precise, detailed and accurate representation in art of the visual appearance of scenes and objects ie, it is drawn in photographic precision Realism in this sense is also called naturalism, mimesis or illusionism Realistic art was created in many periods, and it is in large part a matter of technique and training, and the avoidance of stylization It becomes especially marked in European painting in the Early Netherlandish painting of Jan van Eyck and other artists in the 15th century However such “realism” is often used to depict, for example, angels with wings, which were not things the artists had ever seen in real life Equally, 19th-century Realism art movement painters such as Gustave Courbet are by no means especially noted for precise and careful depiction of visual appearances; in Courbet’s time that was more often a characteristic of academic painting, which very often depicted with great skill and care scenes that were contrived and artificial, or imagined historical scenes It is the choice and treatment of subject matter that defines Realism as a movement in painting, rather than the careful attention to visual appearances Other terms such as naturalism, naturalistic and “veristic” do not escape the same ambiguity, though the distinction between “realistic” (usually related to visual appearance) and “realist” is often useful, as is the term “illusionistic” for the accurate rendering of visual appearances