First of all, what do we mean by Classical Realism? The ancient Greeks lead the way in exhibiting the principles , concepts , proportions and so forth . The Parthenon , constructed in the age of Phidias and Pythagoras , is considered Classical art at its zenith . Not only the architecture , but the figurative sculptures define the essence of Classical Art. The Romans adhered to these same principles in the creation of their own architecture , sculpture and painting . Later, the Renaissance became a period of rebirth of these same Classical qualities.
So , what are they?
An art with Nature as its inspiration is first and foremost . The human figure , in particular , was considered the highest form of art . The form , the structure , the proportions , the gestures , the treatment and thorough understanding of human anatomy and composition or design were all attributes of the art.
Let's look at some drawings form the Renaissance ( Classical Realism ) and compare them to 19th century art ( Academic Realism )
The knowledge and understanding of the classical concepts of the large forms , structure , anatomy , technique , action as well as the ' life ' of each piece is in direct contrast to the dull , filled-in drawings of the 19th century which also lack the large forms , knowledge of anatomy and unfortunately , rely on the influence of the photographic image.
In other words , the artist with a classical point of view , is inspired by and interprets the model before him or her while the academic realist is influenced by and emulates the photographic image.
Let's now take a brief look at some paintings devoted to classical concepts and those which are 19th century academic works.
The nude , backview is another example of a flat , filled-in figure ; Dull and uninteresting .
The large concepts of SPACE , LIGHT and ATMOSPHERE are present in Classical Painting and Drawing and are lacking in Academic Realism . There are academies and ateliers in Italy , the US and many other places that claim to be practioners of Classical Realism. They are actually perpetuating more of the dull 19th century Academic Realism . There are many talented artists but they don't have the training in the true Classical concepts.
In my own classes , I espouse and teach Classical Realism . Look over my various pages of ' critiques ' and workshops . ( group and private ) and videos , e-books and more .
I discuss the concepts of Classical Realism in my book , MASTERING OIL PAINTING.
This has been only a brief blog regarding this topic but I hope I have provoked some thought. .