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Defining Realism

Hi all,

Wondering if anyone could help me with a clear and concise definition of Realism, as distinct from other related styles like romanticism and impressionism.

It seems to me there is quite an overlap between these three. My research tells me that the actual style of Realism started in France during the 1850s, but where does that leave artists like Rembrandt and Velasquez, who were painting 200 years earlier?

I am planning a unit on Realism for my visual arts class at school. Any help with this would be more than welcome.

Thanks,

Kieran

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