Art History Essay- Social Realism in the 19th century

Many aspects of society at the time affected art such as the industrial revolution. The revolution meant that more peasants left the country to go to the big cities, which in turn became over crowded. There was vast poverty, pollution and inequality and these conditions were shown through the art of the Realists.

Honore Daumier was politically and artistically active at a time when France was going through great social and political upheaval. He and his contemporaries used lithography as a weapon to attack the monarchy of Louis Philippe. He intended to reveal corruption in society through his political cartoons and also his paintings. In many of his works he criticises complacent judges, corruption of the legal system and the repression of personal liberty by the government. He often worked using lithography, a print making technique in which he drew directly on the surface of a lithographic stone. In his cartoons and caricatures he used satire and humour to attack injustice. One of the noticeable characteristics of his work is his use of exaggerated facial features. His paintings however showed the same themes of exposing injustices but his approach was less simple and focused more on realistic representat



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