Throughout the known history the artists have been striving to capture the world around them in an attempt to document the contemporary events and their surroundings or present their own or their client’s vision or an interpretation of a concept that would illustrate, describe or help visualize an idea. The description of the resulting art is often classifies the work as belonging to a specific style thus illustrating a set of common traits between the artifacts belonging to the same period. Two of these classifications are the Realist and the Impressionist movements.
Realism, in the 1850’s, rose as a reaction to the Romanticism which, through its works, elicited a strong emotional response from the observer by allowing the artist’s creativity and imagination become more important that a compliance to traditional rules and conventions of the preceding period. (Romanticism, 2014) In an attempt to escape the emotionality of the Romantics, the Realists depicted their subject matter truthfully, without artificial embellishments and concentrated on the everyday life. (Realism, 2014) It is important, however, to mention that the Realists didn’t necessary try to replicate the depicted subject with a photographic precision as did the Naturalists. General Realists tried to create an accurate and objective illustrations of the people’s routine, and, in their own way, critiqued the established order, both the social and the political.(Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, and Photography, 2014) This depiction of the ordinary and the mundane grew in popularity with the emergence of photography as the new source of visual artifacts spurred the artists’ desire to create representations that looked “real”. (Realism, 2014)
The Impressionism’s first works were initially rejected as they deviated from the acceptable content and technique of the time. The artists, later to be known as Impressionists, organized an exhibit in the April of 1870 that received mixed reviews. Louis Leroy, a critic and a humorist, through his scathing review, gave the Impressionists their name, which they adopted wholeheartedly. (Realism, 2014) The Academy of Fine Arts in Paris, an institution that dominated the French art at the time favored the illusionistic art in the 1850’s: lifelike depictions of historical and religious themes using conservative palettes and suppressed brush strokes to conceal the artist’s technique and personality. The Impressionists’ work was characterized by severe departures from the acceptable norm. Most prominent techniques used were the concentration on the essence of the object instead of the details and the application of color side-by-side with as little mixing as possible to allow the optical mixing to take place when the work is viewed. While the techniques used were not new, the fact of their combination on one canvas brought a new dimension into the work. (Realism, 2014)
From the historical perspective, the Realism and the Impressionism overlapped...