HAVC 135B : German Art 1905-1945

Academic Art / Academicism

The mode of painting and sculpture approved by official academies of fine arts, notably the French Academy and the Royal Academy, with a high point in the 19th century.Academic art involved only representational painting, which tended to idealize its subject.


In the late 19th century, artists like Gustav Courbet of France rejected academicism for its preference for idealistic clichés and representing mythical and legendary motives at the expense of social concerns. Others, including the Impressionists, critiqued academic painting’s “false surface”, which showed no texture.

​Definition adapted from Wikipedia, July 23, 2016

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