Realistic images in art
Contemplating the paintings of contemporary artists working in the genres of surrealism, cubism, pop art, conceptualism, postmodernism, and others, one can’t help but wonder whether realistic images are necessary or avoided in art.
On the one hand, the abundance of photographs and the creation of videos can completely compensate for the lack of natural forms in painting and architecture, but on the other hand, the hyperrealism that emerged in the seventies suggests that the need for a reliable image of objects in the surrounding reality is an important and integral component of modern life.
Making a retrospective look at the genres of fine art, you can observe the struggle of creative ideas, their implementation and reinterpretation after a while.
Realistic image and excessively realistic was replaced by hypertrophied forms and emphasized important elements of reality, pushing them to the fore, then came the directions that aroused the viewer’s imagination and encouraged to finish drawing in the imagination to the desired ideal image.
Kaleidoscope replaced some concepts, giving way to others-more progressive, developing and enriching humanity and art.
Primitive art is often associated with figurines of women, rock paintings, jewelry, as well as weapons made of precious metals and household items.
And if the figures of women are surprised by the rough technique and overly improbable splendor of the body, pushing the idea that art was at a low level of development, the rock paintings and caves of Altamira and Lascaux amaze with the colorfulness, realism and dynamism of the plots.
At one time, after seeing with his own eyes images of scenes of people and animals made by primitive people, Pablo Picasso exclaimed that in comparison with these drawings, modern art has created nothing new.
In part, the greatest artist of our time was right, because the object of the image was the world around us.
But different objects, people, and ideas could become objects. There were also different ways of transmitting concepts by the creators, and they were reinterpreted in different ways.
There is no doubt that the peak of realistic representation of people in sculpture was reached in Ancient Greece, where a person was placed in the middle of creativity. Then the sculptural creations of ancient masters were the same height as people and struck with their proportionality and grace.
The ideal of antiquity was the Greek hero, who has a perfect physical form and being beautiful spiritually, at the same time is an exemplary citizen of the world, which is not burdened with personal experiences and moods. People were like gods, and the gods, descending to earth, had a human appearance.
The desire of the masters to be as realistic as possible was dictated by getting as close as possible to the divine.
Such high realism of the image is no longer possible in the modern world and is not appropriate, and ancient anthropocentrism has been significantly rethought.
Antiquity was replaced by the middle Ages and the belief in several gods was replaced by Christianity. Painting was actively developed, which took its subjects from the Bible.
In the images created at this time, it is clear that the main task was to convey a spiritual image, the image of a disembodied soul. Therefore, the drawings show linearity and flatness, irrationally understood space, generalized forms and symbolism.
The image of the Madonna was accompanied by some symbols, and Jesus Christ by others, and the General meaning could only be understood by initiates who wanted to penetrate the meaning of being hidden behind perishable material forms.
Painting presupposed comprehension of the essence by the inner spiritual eye, and many things were considered inaccessible to the ordinary sense perception of a person.
A new round of art development is associated with the Renaissance or Renaissance. Artists of this era also turned to the usual Christian subjects, but reinterpreted at the same time the two previous periods of art development.
Often the subjects of their frescoes and paintings were old Testament subjects, the Madonna, the infant Christ and the apostles, then also ancient Greek myths, where the Olympian gods looked the same as the biblical characters, and even the same as ordinary people.
The naked body again became an object of interest for the artists, and they drew it as close to reality as possible, and the characters were endowed with human feelings – love, humility, joy and sorrow – and calmly walked on the ground.
The images were material, voluminous, and combined the perfectly imagined with the realistic. The concept that guided them can be described as a reinterpreted anthropocentrism, an appeal to antiquity and Christianity, synthesizing realism.
The Renaissance is replaced by the Baroque with its incredible awareness of the fragility and tragedy of human existence in this world, the search for the divine in the world around us and God himself, as well as attempts to isolate themselves from depressing depressive thoughts with all sorts of feasts.
This era is covered by a deep economic and social crisis, which sometimes lasted more than two centuries (as, for example, in the Russian Empire), and human consciousness is trying to escape from reality, the first manifestations of rationalism and sometimes shocking discoveries of science.
The idea becomes an illusory world, disillusionment with reality, awareness of life as a path leading to death, awakens an explosion of sensuality, a taste for life and enjoyment of simple pleasures. It is at this time that the most popular art forms are theater and ballet.
Classicism as a style emerged almost simultaneously with the Baroque and existed in constant controversy with it, gradually winning and replacing the Baroque, and never disappeared, remaining a set of rules according to which young artists are now trained in schools.
The idea of classicism was the idea that the Lord created the world and removed himself, so thanks to reason, man can create a Paradise on earth for himself. For this era, the character of the set of rules that can not be violated and the orientation was chosen Revival as a Canon.
The masters gave the composition paramount importance, subordinating its expressive means. Objects are built according to rhythmic balance, space is divided into several plans, and the main action is usually played only in the foreground.
In the nineteenth century, the main trends were romanticism, which replaced classicism, realism, and, finally, modernism.
Romanticism is associated with the disillusionment of mankind in its powers and contradicts classicism in its attitudes and pays much attention to the spiritual and creative life of man, his passions and emotions, portraying in most cases strong rebellious personalities and healing spiritualized forces of nature.
Romanticism became interested in the mystical past, fairy tales, legends and myths, trying to connect people with their roots, to reunite them with nature.
The pendulum of culture has swung again, and realists are beginning to depict on their canvases what was previously considered unworthy of great art.
Naturalists looked into the most evil corners and described them in detail. A society fed up with themes, plots, and ideas of realistic images is again rethinking the concept of romanticism and turning its eyes to modernism.
Dreaming of a universal realm of beauty and harmony, artists seek to break the usual boundaries and norms, rethink previous techniques and forms, try whether different types of genres can converge and merge.
This period of art development was fleeting, but gave rise to impressionism, surrealism, cubism and other trends.
At the same time, a new type of art – artistic photography-appears and begins to develop, and in painting there is first a new realism, and then hyperrealism. After making a revolution, everything returns back to its origins, constantly rethinking and transforming ideas and concepts.
The need for a realistic image in the history of art confirms the theory of the cultural pendulum – one style seeks to depict the world as deeply and reliably as possible, and the next one goes the other way, and when the departure from reality becomes too far away, a new style is replaced, based on the previous one and almost forgotten, but with a different reinterpretation.
People’s need for a realistic image gradually develops into a need to avoid reality in order to exaggerate significant features by imagining them in their imagination.