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American Realism - Twentieth-Century Drawings and by Alvin Martin

By Alvin Martin

Publication by way of Alvin Martin

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It was Classical in its balance and proportion, but less concerned with verisimilitude in rative art. Under the absolutist reign of the its figu- Sun King, a num- ber of institutions were centralized, and organizations were created that had specific governmental or bureaucratic functions. Among these was the Royal Academy, which estab- Baroque classicism as the official style realm in painting, sculpture, and architecture. By the end of the seventeenth century, the academy was somewhat lished not realism but of the by the controversy between the "Rubensistes," and the conservative "Poussinistes," who asserted the supremacy of line.

In the 1860s the Impressionists Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Camille Pissarro, Frederic Bazille, Berthe Morisot, Pierre- Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley formed the first of the many groups in the history of the modernist movement. They explored the formal elements of color, tone, and texture, and their sensuous surfaces and overall compositions enhanced not the realism of their scenes but rather the reality of their paintings and drawings — They did not preach his innovation. and such exotics as acrobats, and even their fellow artists.

In his Luncheon on the Grass (Le Dejeuner sur l'Herbe), the scan- dal of the Salon des Refuses of 1863, he transposed Renais- sance themes into contemporary bohemian contexts. Manet used Marcantonio Raimondi's sixteenth-century engraving, The Judgment of Paris, not only as a source for his central group of figures but also as an exguisite pun on the judgmencritics and connoisOlympia of 1863 he transformed Titian's Venus of Urbino into a contemporary prostitute. Courbet had elevated the commonplace, and now Manet was seen to be vulgarizing the classics.

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