Why is realism said to be a reaction to romanticism?

Updated: November 28, 2022
Realism is often said to be a reaction to romanticism because it focuses on the gritty reality of life, rather than on idealized notions of love and beauty.
Detailed answer:

While Realism and Romanticism are not always easy to distinguish, some great nineteenth-century writers reflect aspects of both. These include Charles Dickens, Joseph Conrad, and George Balzac. Other notable realists include Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Realists believed that, as time progressed, people would become better at understanding reality and would act accordingly. This belief was a reaction to romanticism, which centered on idealized representations. The advent of photography made the desire for representations that were objectively real all the more prevalent. While Romanticism emphasized idealized depictions of nature and human nature, many artists painted modern figures in mythological costumes. Female figures were often depicted as goddesses, while male figures were often depicted as muscular Greek gods. As the world became increasingly industrialized, artists’ work shifted away from these idealized depictions. Realism was also a reaction to the rise of social change. Realism became more prevalent during the nineteenth century, as many writers saw the dangers of romanticism. Authors like Jane Austen tended to present middle-class lives in rural areas, but also depicted the lives of the poor. These novels acted as a catalyst for social reform. The realist movement began in the late eighteenth century. The earliest realists were Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins. They were also important precursors of the Ashcan School. The Ashcan School, based in New York City, was largely responsible for defining the American realism movement.

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Why is realism said to be a reaction to romanticism?. (2022, Oct 19). Retrieved from