The Shock Of The Modern World Essay

1630 Words Sep 28th, 2015 7 Pages
The Shock of the Modern is an appropriate way to describe the changes occurring in art and society during the 19th and 20th centuries. Various social, political and economic changes would drastically challenge artistic conventions that had been in place since the Renaissance. The period between 1850-1970 saw dramatic changes and revolution in the production and history of art. The art world would be exposed to juxtapositions between both tradition and modernity and the idealized and realistic. Associated with academic art and controlled by a conservative committee, the conventional Salon was the major traditional exhibition venue in Paris, matched only by the Royal Academy in Britain. The hierarchical nature of art at the time meant historical paintings and sculpture were favored over landscape, which was thought to be of low value. The Salon viewed art as a tool for education and genre subjects (everyday scenes) were discouraged. Between 1850-1970, various movements and artists challenged artistic convention and tradition, building upon one another. Met with reactions of shock, outrage, anger or admiration from the public, the Shock of the Modern was the artists reaction to the restrictive monopoly that the Salon had on the exhibition process, acceptable subject matter and traditional technique.

The first of many shocks to the art world was the emergence of Realism. Realism was a mid 19th century art movement led by Gustave Courbet. It directly challenged the traditional…

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