Realism was shocking and scandalous according to, ‘18th and 19th century humanities book’.




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Realism was shocking and scandalous according to, ‘18th and 19th century humanities book’.

During the 19th century, photography was invented and it sought to replace the contemporary painting art that had been used to represent Realism has been acknowledged as the motivation beyond modern art. Many artists found photography more convenient as it allowed artist to capture the real life experiences that is authentic compared to the art that allowed the artist to capture their artist’ imagination of reality. Realism involves the capturing of the daily life events in the modern world whereby artists are able to advance what the society should be like. The 18th and 19th century art focused on the progressive objectives of modernism by focusing on dealing the inherent traditional traditions and values that are within the society. The art of these centuries focused on articulated the various social, cultural and economic aspects of the society.

Another aspect of realism in art that made it shocking and scandalous is the painting of women naked while men were painted as clothed. During the 18th and 19th century, the female nudity art became famous and continued to increase the controversy that surrounded realism in contemporary art. It was argued that the nudity of women was a way of representing the classical art in a modern way although many people considered it against the modern academic culture. The nudity painting was considered as going against the public morals and this made the realism of the contemporary art scandalous and shocking. Although the art sought to capture life in its natural setting, many people seemed to disagree with the way artists used it to advance what they considered ‘immorality’.

There was controversy that characterized modern art as many artists sought to challenges the already entrenched beliefs in art. Artists were able to challenge the old notion that promoted art as a way of mirroring the society and adopted various aspects that had not been in use previously. Many artists took to expressive colors as a way through which they would express their artistic capabilities and were reluctant to stick to the commonly used traditional material. The invention of photography revolutionized the way artists acted and conducted their work in the 18th and 19th century.

Realism came to challenge the existing form of art that was previously romantic style that did not capture the reality of life. The romantic style of art was used to romanticize life and would not capture the reality of our world. The emergence of photography changed all this, artists were now more to capture and preserve the life events on the light sensitive lights within a short period of time. Many people who were concerned by the future of painting as a way of representing life became concerned about photographs and some considered it scandalous and some argued that it could be used to enhance painting. Those who considered it scandalous argued that it had posed a major challenge to the advancement of fine art as it took the role of artists who were over the centuries played the role of imitating nature.

The 18th and 19th century art was scandalous as it sought to promote realism and allowed artist to express their notion of reality and many people found out to be shocking in nature. It continuously focused on nudity of women and this challenged the existing traditions in art and was considered immoral.


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Viladesau, Richard. “The Cross: History, Art, and Controversy by Robin M. Jensen, x+ 270 pp.” (2018).