This comment was written by HAVC 135B on 2 Sep 2016.

HAVC 135B : German Art 1905-1945

How did artists and their publics respond to modernization in the late 19th century?

Modernization and economic development in the late 19th century lead to many social inequalities. This new culture of industrialization was marked by advanced technologies, a massive population boom, and elevated social tensions. Artists began to reflect the unadorned “everyday” life and subjects, without a false romantic or heroic depiction like most academic art enforced. They particularly began representing the life of the urban working class, painting their working conditions as a way critique the changes and effects of a new modern nation. These paintings often created uneasiness for the upper and middle class, believing it reflected an uncleanliness and unruliness, made even stronger because it was accompanied by an anxiety of increasing socialism. Pecht reflects a conflict true for many, he believed true national art would depict contemporary life yet critiqued these very styles and subject matter because of the dirty urban bodies and their masses of people. Yet these urban masses reflected the true contemporary life during the time.

- Summer 2016

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