History Of Impressionism
The Realist and the Idealist
Realism in the visual arts and literature refers to the general attempt to depict subjects "in accordance with secular empirical rules," as they are considered to exist in third person objective reality, without embellishment or interpretation. As such, the approach inherently implies a belief that such reality is ontologically
independent of man's conceptual schemes, linguistic practices and
beliefs, and thus can be known (or knowable) to the artist, who can in
turn represent this 'reality' faithfully. As Ian Watt
states, modern realism "begins from the position that truth can be
discovered by the individual through the senses" and as such "it has
its origins in Descartes and Locke, and received its first full formulation by Thomas Reid in the middle of the eighteenth century."
Realism often refers more specifically to the artistic movement, which began in France in the 1850s. These realists positioned themselves against romanticism,
a genre dominating French literature and artwork in the late 18th and
early 19th centuries. Purporting to be undistorted by personal bias,
Realism believed in the ideology of objective reality
and revolted against the exaggerated emotionalism of the romantic
movement. Truth and accuracy became the goals of many Realists. Many
paintings which sprung up during the time of realism depicted people at
work, as during the 19th century there were many open work places due
to the Industrial Revolution and Commercial Revolutions. The popularity of such 'realistic' works grew with the introduction of photography â€” a new visual source that created a desire for people to produce representations which look â€œobjectively real.â€
The term is also used to refer to works of art which, in revealing a truth, may emphasize the ugly or sordid, such as works of social realism, regionalism or Kitchen sink realism.
Idealism is the philosophical theory which maintains that the ultimate nature of reality is based on the mind or ideas. In the philosophy of perception, idealism is contrasted with realism, in which the external world is said to have an apparent absolute existence. Epistemological idealists (such as Kant) claim that the only things which can be directly known for certain are just ideas (abstraction). In literature, idealism means the thoughts or the ideas of the writer.
In the philosophy of mind, idealism is the opposite of materialism, in which the ultimate nature of reality is based on physical substances. Idealism and materialism are both theories of monism as opposed to dualism and pluralism.
Idealism sometimes refers to a tradition in thought that represents
things of a perfect form, as in the fields of ethics, morality,
aesthetics, and value. In this way, it represents a human perfect being
Idealism is a philosophical movement in Western thought, and names a
number of philosophical positions with sometimes quite different
tendencies and implications in politics and ethics; for instance, at
least in popular culture, philosophical idealism is associated with
Plato and the school of platonism.