Shan shui refers to a style of traditional Chinese painting that involves or depicts scenery or natural landscapes, using a brush and ink rather than more conventional paints. Mountains and waterfalls are prominent in this art form. Shan shui painting first began to develop in the Liu Song dynasty, it was characterized by a group of landscape painters such as Zhang Zeduan, most of them famous, who produced large-scale landscape paintings. These landscape paintings centered on mountains. Mountains had long been seen as sacred places in China, which were viewed as the homes of immortals and thus, close to the heavens. Philosophical interest in nature, or in mystical connotations of naturalism, could have contributed to the rise of landscape painting; the art of shan shui, like many other styles of Chinese painting has a strong reference to Taoist imagery and motifs, as symbolisms of Taoism influenced "Chinese landscape painting". Some authors have suggested that Daoist stress on how minor the human presence is in the vastness of the cosmos, or Neo-Confucian interest in the patterns or principles that underlie all phenomena and social lead to the structuralized nature of shan shui.
Most dictionaries and definitions of shan shui assume that the term includes all ancient Chinese paintings with mountain and water images. Contemporary Chinese painters, feel that only paintings with mountain and water images that follow specific conventions of form and function should be called "shan shui painting"; when Chinese painters work on shan shui painting, they do not try to present an image of what they have seen in the nature, but what they have thought about nature. No one cares whether shapes look like the real object or not. According to Ch'eng Hsi: Shan shui painting is a kind of painting which goes against the common definition of what a painting is. Shan shui painting refutes color and shadow and personal brush work. Shan shui painting is not an open window for the viewer's eye, it is an object for the viewer's mind. Shan shui painting is more like a vehicle of philosophy. Shan shui paintings involve a complicated and rigorous set of mystical requirements for balance and form.
All shan shui paintings should have 3 basic components: Paths – Pathways should never be straight. They should meander like a stream; this helps deepen the landscape by adding layers. The path can be the river, or a path along it, or the tracing of the sun through the sky over the shoulder of the mountain; the concept is to never create inorganic patterns, but instead to mimic the patterns that nature creates. The Threshold – The path should lead to a threshold; the threshold is there to provide a special welcome. The threshold can its cut into the sky; the concept is always that its boundary must be defined clearly. The Heart – The heart is the focal point of the painting and all elements should lead to it; the heart defines the meaning of the painting. The concept should imply that each painting has a single focal point, that all the natural lines of the painting direct inwards to this point. Shan shui is painted and designed in accordance with Chinese elemental theory with five elements representing various parts of the natural world, thus has specific directions for colorations that should be used in'directions' of the painting, as to which should dominate.
Positive interactions between the Elements are: Wood produces Fire Fire produces Earth Earth produces Metal Metal produces Water Water produces Wood. Elements that react positively should be used together. For example, Water complements both Wood. There is a positive interaction between Earth and Fire, so a painter would mix Yellow and Red. Negative interactions between the Elements are: Wood uproots Earth Earth blocks Water Water douses Fire Fire melts Metal Metal chops WoodElements that interact negatively should never be used together. For example, Fire will not interact positively with Water or Metal so a painter would not choose to mix red and blue, or red and white. A certain movement in poetry, influenced by the shan shui style, came to be known as Shanshui poetry. Sometimes, the poems were designed to be viewed with a particular work of art, others were intended to be "textual art" that invoked an image inside a reader's mind; the art form of shan shui has been popular to the point where a Chinese animation from 1988 entitled Feeling from Mountain and Water uses the same art style and the term for the film's title.
Additionally, many recent movies and plays produced in China House of Flying Daggers and Hero, use elements of the style itself in the sets, as well as the elemental aspects in providing "balance". The term shan shui is sometimes extended to include gardening and landscape design within the context of feng shui. Blue-green shan shui Chinese art Mogu Ink wash painting Wu Xing Chinese Landscape Painting at China Online Museum Chinese Painters and Galleries at China Online Museum
Landscape painting known as landscape art, is the depiction of landscapes in art – natural scenery such as mountains, trees and forests where the main subject is a wide view – with its elements arranged into a coherent composition. In other works, landscape backgrounds for figures can still form an important part of the work. Sky is always included in the view, weather is an element of the composition. Detailed landscapes as a distinct subject are not found in all artistic traditions, develop when there is a sophisticated tradition of representing other subjects; the two main traditions spring from Western painting and Chinese art, going back well over a thousand years in both cases. The recognition of a spiritual element in landscape art is present from its beginnings in East Asian art, drawing on Daoism and other philosophical traditions, but in the West only becomes explicit with Romanticism. Landscape views in art may be imaginary, or copied from reality with varying degrees of accuracy.
If the primary purpose of a picture is to depict an actual, specific place including buildings prominently, it is called a topographical view. Such views common as prints in the West, are seen as inferior to fine art landscapes, although the distinction is not always meaningful; the word "landscape" entered the modern English language as landskip, an anglicization of the Dutch landschap, around the start of the 17th century, purely as a term for works of art, with its first use as a word for a painting in 1598. Within a few decades it was used to describe vistas in poetry, as a term for real views; however the cognate term landscaef or landskipe for a cleared patch of land had existed in Old English, though it is not recorded from Middle English. The earliest forms of art around the world depict little that could be called landscape, although ground-lines and sometimes indications of mountains, trees or other natural features are included; the earliest "pure landscapes" with no human figures are frescos from Minoan Greece of around 1500 BCE.
Hunting scenes those set in the enclosed vista of the reed beds of the Nile Delta from Ancient Egypt, can give a strong sense of place, but the emphasis is on individual plant forms and human and animal figures rather than the overall landscape setting. The frescos from the Tomb of Nebamun, now in the British Museum, are a famous example. For a coherent depiction of a whole landscape, some rough system of perspective, or scaling for distance, is needed, this seems from literary evidence to have first been developed in Ancient Greece in the Hellenistic period, although no large-scale examples survive. More ancient Roman landscapes survive, from the 1st century BCE onwards frescos of landscapes decorating rooms that have been preserved at archaeological sites of Pompeii and elsewhere, mosaics; the Chinese ink painting tradition of shan shui, or "pure" landscape, in which the only sign of human life is a sage, or a glimpse of his hut, uses sophisticated landscape backgrounds to figure subjects, landscape art of this period retains a classic and much-imitated status within the Chinese tradition.
Both the Roman and Chinese traditions show grand panoramas of imaginary landscapes backed with a range of spectacular mountains – in China with waterfalls and in Rome including sea, lakes or rivers. These were used, as in the example illustrated, to bridge the gap between a foreground scene with figures and a distant panoramic vista, a persistent problem for landscape artists; the Chinese style showed only a distant view, or used dead ground or mist to avoid that difficulty. A major contrast between landscape painting in the West and East Asia has been that while in the West until the 19th century it occupied a low position in the accepted hierarchy of genres, in East Asia the classic Chinese mountain-water ink painting was traditionally the most prestigious form of visual art. Aesthetic theories in both regions gave the highest status to the works seen to require the most imagination from the artist. In the West this was history painting, but in East Asia it was the imaginary landscape, where famous practitioners were, at least in theory, amateur literati, including several Emperors of both China and Japan.
They were also poets whose lines and images illustrated each other. In the 1830s the British inventor William Talbot creates the process of calotype and in 1844 he publishes the first book with photo illustrations: "The Pencil of Nature"Talbot, W. H. F.. The Pencil of Nature: in 6 parts. However, in the West, history painting came to require an extensive landscape background where appropriate, so the theory did not work against the development of landscape painting – for several centuries landscapes were promoted to the status of history painting by the addition of small figures to make a narrative scene religious or mythological. In early Western medieval art interest in landscape disappears entirely, kept alive only in copies of Late Antique works such as the Utrecht Psalter. A revival in interest in nature mainly manifested itself in depictions of small gardens such as the Hortus Conclusus or those in millefleur tapestries; the frescos of figures at work or pl
Chinese calligraphy is a form of pleasing writing, or, the artistic expression of human language in a tangible form. This type of expression has been practiced in China and has been held in high esteem across East Asia. Calligraphy is considered as one of the four best friends of ancient Chinese literati, along with playing stringed musical instrument, the board game “go”, painting. There are some general standardizations of the various styles of calligraphy in this tradition. Chinese calligraphy and ink and wash painting are related: they are accomplished using similar tools and techniques, have a long history of shared artistry. Distinguishing features of Chinese painting and calligraphy include an emphasis on motion charged with dynamic life. According to Stanley-Baker, "Calligraphy is sheer life experienced through energy in motion, registered as traces on silk or paper, with time and rhythm in shifting space its main ingredients." Calligraphy has led to the development of many forms of art in China, including seal carving, ornate paperweights, inkstones.
In China, calligraphy is referred to as shūfǎ, literally'way/method/law of writing'. Chinese calligraphy appreciated more or only for its aesthetic quality has a long tradition, is today regarded as one of the arts in the countries where it is practised. Chinese calligraphy focuses not only on methods of writing but on cultivating one's character and taught as a pursuit. Oracle bone script was one of the forms of Chinese character written on animals bones. Written on oracle bones – animal bones or turtle plastrons, it is the earliest known form of Chinese writing; the first appearance of what we recognize unequivocally to refer as “oracle bone inscriptions” comes in the form of inscribed ox scapula and turtle plastrons from sites near modern Anyang on the northern border of Henan province. The vast majority were found at the Yinxu site, they record pyromantic divinations of the last nine kings of the Shang dynasty, beginning with Wu Ding, whose accession is dated by different scholars at 1250 BC or 1200 BC.
Though there is no proof that the Shang dynasty were responsible for the origin of writing in China, but neither is there evidence of recognizable Chinese writing from any earlier time or any other place. The late Shang oracle bone writings constitute the earliest significant corpus of Chinese writing and it is the oldest known member and ancestor of the Chinese family of scripts, preceding the Chinese bronze inscriptions. Chinese bronze inscriptions are a kind of style that written on the Chinese ritual bronzes; these Chinese ritual bronzes include Ding, Dui, Gu, Gui, Hu, Jue, Yi, Zun, Yi. Different time period has different method of inscription. Shang bronze inscriptions were nearly all cast along with the implements. In dynasty such as Western Zhou and Autumn Period, the inscriptions were engraved after the bronze was cast; the bronze inscriptions are one of the earliest scripts in the Chinese family of scripts, preceded by the oracle bone script. Seal script is an ancient style of writing Chinese characters, common throughout the latter half of the 1st millennium BC.
It evolved organically out of the Zhou dynasty script. The Qin variant of seal script became the standard, was adopted as the formal script for all of China during the Qin dynasty; the Clerical script is an archaic style of Chinese calligraphy. The clerical script has lasted up to the present; the clerical script is considered as a form of modern script though it was replaced by the standard script by early date. It was all because the graphic forms written in mature clerical script resemble those written in standard script; the clerical script is still used for artistic flavor in a variety of functional applications because of its high legibility of reading. Regular script is the newest of the Chinese script styles; the regular script first come into existence between the Han and Wei dynasties though it is not popular. The regular script becomes mature stylistically around the 7th century; the first master of regular script is Zhong You. Zhong You first used regular script to write some serious pieces such as memorials to the emperor.
Semi-cursive script known as, is a cursive style of Chinese characters. Because it is not as abbreviated as cursive, most people who can read regular script can read semi-cursive, it is useful and artistic. Cursive script known as, originated in China during the Han dynasty through the Jin period; the cursive script is faster to write than other styles, but difficult to read for those unfamiliar with it. The “grass” in Chinese was used in the sense of “coarse, rough, it would appear. The term cǎoshū has narrow meanings. In the broad sense, it is non-temporal and can refer to any characters which have been hastily written. In the narrow sense, it refers to the specific handwriting style in Han dynasty. Chinese characters can be retraced to
Arthur Wesley Dow
Arthur Wesley Dow was an American painter, printmaker and influential arts educator. Dow went to Paris for his early art education, studying at the Académie Julian under the supervision of the academic artists, Gustave Boulanger and Jules Joseph Lefebvre, between 1880 and 1888, he accepted commissions for other commercial work. In 1895, he designed the poster to advertise the Journal of Modern Art and in 1896, he designed the poster for an exhibition of Japanese prints. After his return to the United States, over the course of his career Dow taught at three major American arts training institutions, beginning with the Pratt Institute from 1896-1903, he taught at the New York Art Students League from 1898-1903. In 1900, Dow founded and served as the director of the Ipswich Summer School of Art in Ipswich, Massachusetts. From 1904 to 1922, he was a professor of fine arts at Columbia University Teachers College, his ideas were quite revolutionary for the period. He wanted leaders of the public to see art is a living force for all in everyday life, not as a sort of traditional ornament for the few.
Dow suggested that the American lack of interest in art would improve if art was presented as a means of self-expression. He wanted people to be able to include personal experience in creating art, his ideas on art were published in his 1899 book Composition: A Series of Exercises in Art Structure for the Use of Students and Teachers. The following extracts are from the prefatory chapter "Beginnings" to the second edition of this book: Composition... expresses the idea upon which the method here presented is founded - the "putting together" of lines and colors to make a harmony.... Composition, building up of harmony, is the fundamental process in all the fine arts.... A natural method is of exercises in progressive order, first building up simple harmonies... Such a method of study includes all kinds of drawing and painting, it offers a means of training for the creative artist, the teacher or one who studies art for the sake of culture. In "Beginnings", he acknowledges his debt to Ernest Fenollosa: The history of this structural system of art teaching may be stated in a few words.
An experience of five years in the French schools left me dissatisfied with academic theory. In a search for something more vital I began a comparative study of the art of all nations and epochs. While pursuing an investigation of Oriental painting and design at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts I met the late Professor Ernest F. Fenollosa. After detailing some of Fenollosa's attributes and history, he continues: He at once gave me cordial support in my quest, for he felt the inadequacy of modern art teaching, he vigorously advocated a radically different idea, based as in music, upon synthetic principles. He believed music to be, in a sense, the key to the other fine arts, since its essence is pure beauty, he continues: Convinced that this new conception was a more reasonable approach to art, I gave much time to preparing with Professor Fenollosa a progressive series of synthetic exercises. My first experiment in applying these in teaching was made in 1889 in my Boston classes, with Professor Fenollosa as lecturer on the philosophy and history of art.
He taught many of America's leading artists and craftspeople, including Georgia O'Keeffe, Charles Sheeler, Charles J. Martin, two of the Overbeck Sisters and the Byrdcliffe Colony; the significance of Arthur Wesley Dow as an artist and teacher is becoming apparent. A champion of fine craftsmanship in a wide variety of art media, Dow was a leading figure in the Arts and Crafts revival that became prominent in America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, he advocated principles of pure design and promoted the creation of handmade rather than machine made objects. Dow played an important role in American art as his work bridged the gap between Eastern and Western art. Applying principles of Oriental design to depictions of commonplace locales, Dow created works that were ahead of their time, anticipating the East/West synthesis that would be sought by modernist artists as the twentieth century progressed. Born in Ipswich, Massachusetts into an old, established New England family, Dow received his first art training in 1880 from Anna K. Freeland of Worcester, Massachusetts.
The following year, Dow continued his studies in Boston with James M. Stone, a former student of Frank Duveneck and Gustave Bouguereau. In October 1884, Dow followed the path of many native painters of his era, departed for Paris. In the French capital, he enrolled at the Académie Julian where his instructors were Gustave Boulanger and Jules-Joseph Lefebvre. Among his fellow students were John Henry Twachtman, Willard Metcalf, Edmund Tarbell. While abroad, Dow spent his summers in Pont Aven, Brittany, in the company of the Americans, Benjamin Harrison, Arthur Hoeber and Charles Lazar. Dow returned to America in 1887. A year the first solo exhibition of his work was held at the J. Eastman Chase Gallery in Boston. After spending another summer in Pont-Aven, Dow settled in Ipswich in 1889 and began to hold private art classes. Soon, however, he moved to Boston, where he became interested in Egyptian and Aztec artifacts, which he saw at the Boston Public Library and the Museum of Fine Arts. At the same time, he began to study the prints of Hokusai.
He sought out the curator of Japanese art at the Museum, Ernest Fenollosa, who s
The Song dynasty was an era of Chinese history that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period; the Song came into conflict with the contemporary Liao and Western Xia dynasties in the north. It was conquered by the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty; the Song government was the first in world history to issue banknotes or true paper money nationally and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy. This dynasty saw the first known use of gunpowder, as well as the first discernment of true north using a compass; the Song dynasty is divided into two distinct periods and Southern. During the Northern Song, the Song capital was in the northern city of Bianjing and the dynasty controlled most of what is now Eastern China; the Southern Song refers to the period after the Song lost control of its northern half to the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty in the Jin–Song Wars.
During this time, the Song court retreated south of the Yangtze and established its capital at Lin'an. Although the Song dynasty had lost control of the traditional "birthplace of Chinese civilization" along the Yellow River, the Song economy was still strong, as the Southern Song Empire contained a large population and productive agricultural land; the Southern Song dynasty bolstered its naval strength to defend its waters and land borders and to conduct maritime missions abroad. To repel the Jin, the Mongols, the Song developed revolutionary new military technology augmented by the use of gunpowder. In 1234, the Jin dynasty was conquered by the Mongols, who took control of northern China, maintaining uneasy relations with the Southern Song. Möngke Khan, the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, died in 1259 while besieging the mountain castle Diaoyucheng, Chongqing, his younger brother Kublai Khan was proclaimed the new Great Khan, though his claim was only recognized by the Mongols in the west.
In 1271, Kublai Khan was proclaimed the Emperor of China. After two decades of sporadic warfare, Kublai Khan's armies conquered the Song dynasty in 1279; the Mongol invasion led to a reunification under the Yuan dynasty. The population of China doubled in size during the 10th and 11th centuries; this growth was made possible by expanded rice cultivation in central and southern Song, the use of early-ripening rice from south-east and southern Asia, the production of widespread food surpluses. The Northern Song census recorded double of the Han and Tang dynasties, it is estimated that the Northern Song had a population of some 120 million people, 200 million by the time of the Ming dynasty. This dramatic increase of population fomented an economic revolution in pre-modern China; the expansion of the population, growth of cities, the emergence of a national economy led to the gradual withdrawal of the central government from direct involvement in economic affairs. The lower gentry assumed a larger role in local affairs.
Appointed officials in county and provincial centers relied upon the scholarly gentry for their services and local supervision. Social life during the Song was vibrant. Citizens gathered to view and trade precious artworks, the populace intermingled at public festivals and private clubs, cities had lively entertainment quarters; the spread of literature and knowledge was enhanced by the rapid expansion of woodblock printing and the 11th-century invention of movable-type printing. Technology, philosophy and engineering flourished over the course of the Song. Philosophers such as Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi reinvigorated Confucianism with new commentary, infused with Buddhist ideals, emphasized a new organization of classic texts that brought out the core doctrine of Neo-Confucianism. Although the institution of the civil service examinations had existed since the Sui dynasty, it became much more prominent in the Song period; the officials who gained power by succeeding in the exams became a leading factor in the shift from a military-aristocratic elite to a bureaucratic elite.
After usurping the throne of the Later Zhou dynasty, Emperor Taizu of Song spent sixteen years conquering the rest of China, reuniting much of the territory that had once belonged to the Han and Tang empires and ending the upheaval of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. In Kaifeng, he established a strong central government over the empire; the establishment of this capital marked the start of the Northern Song period. He ensured administrative stability by promoting the civil service examination system of drafting state bureaucrats by skill and merit and promoted projects that ensured efficiency in communication throughout the empire. In one such project, cartographers created detailed maps of each province and city that were collected in a large atlas. Emperor Taizu promoted groundbreaking scientific and technological innovations by supporting such works as the astronomical clock tower designed and built by the engineer Zhang Sixun; the Song court maintained diplomatic relations with Chola India, the Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt, the Kara-Khanid Khanate of Central Asia, the Goryeo kingdom in Korea, other countries that were trade partners with Japan.
Chinese records mention an embassy from the ruler of "Fu lin", Michael VII Doukas, its arrival in 1081. However, China's closest neighbouring states had the greatest impact on its domestic and foreign policy. From its
East Asia is the eastern subregion of Asia, defined in either geographical or ethno-cultural terms. China, Japan and Vietnam belong to the East Asian cultural sphere. Geographically and geopolitically, the region includes China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea; the region was the cradle of various ancient civilizations such as ancient China, ancient Japan, ancient Korea, the Mongol Empire. East Asia was one of the cradles of world civilization, with China, an ancient East Asian civilization being one of the earliest cradles of civilization in human history. For thousands of years, China influenced East Asia as it was principally the leading civilization in the region exerting its enormous prestige and influence on its neighbors. Societies in East Asia have been part of the Chinese cultural sphere, East Asian vocabulary and scripts are derived from Classical Chinese and Chinese script; the Chinese calendar preserves traditional East Asian culture and serves as the root to which many other East Asian calendars are derived from.
Major religions in East Asia include Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism, Ancestral worship, Chinese folk religion in Greater China and Shintoism in Japan, Christianity and Sindoism in Korea. Shamanism is prevalent among Mongols and other indigenous populations of northern East Asia such as the Manchus. East Asians comprise around 1.6 billion people, making up about 38% of the population in Continental Asia and 22% of the global population. The region is home to major world metropolises such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. Although the coastal and riparian areas of the region form one of the world's most populated places, the population in Mongolia and Western China, both landlocked areas, is sparsely distributed, with Mongolia having the lowest population density of any sovereign state; the overall population density of the region is 133 inhabitants per square kilometre, about three times the world average of 45/km2. In comparison with the profound influence of the Ancient Greeks and Romans on Europe and the Western World, China would possess an advanced civilization nearly half a millennia before Japan and Korea.
As Chinese civilization existed for about 1500 years before other East Asian civilizations emerged into history, Imperial China would exert much of its cultural, economic and political muscle onto its neighbors. Succeeding Chinese dynasties exerted enormous influence across East Asia culturally, economically and militarily for over two millennia. Imperial China's cultural preeminence not only led the country to become East Asia's first literate nation in the entire region, it supplied Japan and Korea with Chinese loanwords and linguistic influences rooted in their writing systems. In addition, the Chinese Han dynasty hosted the largest unified population in East Asia, the most literate and urbanized as well as being the most technologically and culturally advanced civilization in the region. Cultural and religious interaction between the Chinese and other regional East Asian dynasties and kingdoms occurred. China's impact and influence on Korea began with the Han dynasty's northeastern expansion in 108 BC when the Han Chinese conquered the northern part of the Korean peninsula and established a province called Lelang.
Chinese influence would soon take root in Korea through the inclusion of the Chinese writing system, monetary system, rice culture, Confucian political institutions. Jōmon society in ancient Japan incorporated wet-rice cultivation and metallurgy through its contact with Korea. Vietnamese society was impacted by Chinese influence, the northern part of Vietnam was occupied by Chinese empires and states for all of the period from 111 BC to 938 AD. In addition to administration, making Chinese the language of administration, the long period of Chinese domination introduced Chinese techniques of dike construction, rice cultivation, animal husbandry. Chinese culture, having been established among the elite mandarin class, remained the dominant current among that elite for most of the next 1,000 years until the loss of independence under French Indochina; this cultural affiliation to China remained true when militarily defending Vietnam against attempted invasion, such as against the Mongol Kublai Khan.
The only significant exceptions to this were the 7 years of the anti-Chinese Hồ dynasty which banned the use of Chinese, but after the expulsion of the Ming the rise in vernacular chữ nôm literature. Although 1,000 years of Chinese rule left many traces, the collective memory of the period reinforced Vietnam's cultural and political independence; as full-fledged medieval East Asian states were established, Korea by the fourth century AD and Japan by the seventh century AD, Korea and Vietnam began to incorporate Chinese influences such as Confucianism, the use of written Han characters, Chinese style architecture, state institutions, political philosophies, urban planning, various scientific and technological methods into their culture and society through direct contacts with succeeding Chinese dynasties. For many centuries, most notably from the 7th to the 14th centuries, China stood as East Asia's most advanced civilization, commanding influence across the region up until the early modern period.
The Imperial Chinese tributary system shaped much of East Asia's history for over two millennia due to Imperial China's economic and cultural influence over the region, thus played a huge role in the history of East Asia in particular. The trans
Realism, sometimes called naturalism, in the arts is the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, or implausible and supernatural elements. Realism has been prevalent in the arts at many periods, can be in large part a matter of technique and training, the avoidance of stylization. In the visual arts, illusionistic realism is the accurate depiction of lifeforms and the details of light and colour, but realist or naturalist works of art may, as well or instead of illusionist realism, be "realist" in their subject-matter, emphasize the mundane, ugly or sordid. This is typical of the 19th-century Realist movement that began in France in the 1850s, after the 1848 Revolution, social realism, regionalism, or kitchen sink realism; the Realist painters rejected Romanticism, which had come to dominate French literature and art, with roots in the late 18th century. There have been various movements invoking realism in the other arts, such as the opera style of verismo, literary realism, theatrical realism, Italian neorealist cinema.
Realism is the precise and accurate representation in art of the visual appearance of scenes and objects i.e. it is drawn in photographic precision. Realism in this sense is called naturalism, mimesis or illusionism. Realistic art was created in many periods, it is in large part a matter of technique and training, the avoidance of stylization, it becomes marked in European painting in the Early Netherlandish painting of Robert Campin, Jan van Eyck and other artists in the 15th century. However such "realism" is used to depict, for example, angels with wings, which were not things the artists had seen in real life. 19th-century Realism art movement painters such as Gustave Courbet are by no means noted for precise and careful depiction of visual appearances. It is the choice and treatment of subject matter that defines Realism as a movement in painting, rather than the careful attention to visual appearances. Other terms such as naturalism, naturalistic and "veristic" do not escape the same ambiguity, though the distinction between "realistic" and "realist" is useful, as is the term "illusionistic" for the accurate rendering of visual appearances.
The development of accurate representation of the visual appearances of things has a long history in art. It includes elements such as the accurate depiction of the anatomy of humans and animals, of perspective and effects of distance, of detailed effects of light and colour; the Art of the Upper Paleolithic in Europe achieved remarkably lifelike depictions of animals, Ancient Egyptian art developed conventions involving both stylization and idealization that allowed effective depictions to be produced widely and consistently. Ancient Greek art is recognised as having made great progress in the representation of anatomy, has remained an influential model since. No original works on panels or walls by the great Greek painters survive, but from literary accounts, the surviving corpus of derivative works it is clear that illusionism was valued in painting. Pliny the Elder's famous story of birds pecking at grapes painted by Zeuxis in the 5th century BC may well be a legend, but indicates the aspiration of Greek painting.
As well as accuracy in shape and colour, Roman paintings show an unscientific but effective knowledge of representing distant objects smaller than closer ones, representing regular geometric forms such as the roof and walls of a room with perspective. This progress in illusionistic effects in no way meant a rejection of idealism. Roman portraiture, when not under too much Greek influence, shows a greater commitment to a truthful depiction of its subjects; the art of Late Antiquity famously rejected illusionism for expressive force, a change well underway by the time Christianity began to affect the art of the elite. In the West classical standards of illusionism did not begin to be reached again until the Late medieval and Early Renaissance periods, were helped, first in the Netherlands in the early 15th century, around the 1470s in Italy, by the development of new techniques of oil painting which allowed subtle and precise effects of light to be painted using small brushes and several layers of paint and glaze.
Scientific methods of representing perspective were developed in Italy in the early 15th century and spread across Europe, accuracy in anatomy rediscovered under the influence of classical art. As in classical times, idealism remained the norm; the accurate depiction of landscape in painting had been developing in Early Netherlandish/Early Northern Renaissance and Italian Renaissance painting, was brought to a high level in 17th-century Dutch Golden Age painting, with subtle techniques for depicting a range of weather conditions and degrees of natural light. After being another development of Early Netherlandish painting, by 1600 European portraiture could give a good likeness in both painting and sculpture, though the subjects were idealized by smoothing features or giving them an artificial pose. Still life paintings, still life elements in other w