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Painting Reality: 6 Science and technology
The height of Naturalist painting, between about 1880-1910, coincided with a period of prodigious scientific and technological advance. In almost every field touched by these, major changes transformed people’s lives, from fast high-speed travel by train and new industrial processes to general anaesthesia for surgery. Although Naturalism had originated... Read more
By the Sweat of their Brow – people at work 2
The first article in this two-part series looked at paintings of earlier phases of the Industrial Revolution, up to 1880. These had started with awe-inspiring industrial landscapes, concentrated on activities and the environment inside factories and ironworks, then during the 1870s had come to focus on the men and... Read more
Painting Reality: 1 Emergence (1883)
The Paris Salon of 1883 was very large, with nearly 2,500 paintings on display. Among those emerged a new school of painting – not that of Impressionism, which had remained fiercely independent and even then was hardly popular, but of a new form of realism: Naturalism. For the next... Read more
Painting Reality: 3 Spread
Naturalism may have emerged in France, thanks at least in part to the Third Republic, but it rapidly became established internationally. This was largely due to Paris, in particular, and France more generally being the focal point of western painting at the time. Literary Naturalism had spread with the... Read more