Reference Library: Romantic realism
'Romantic Realism' is an aesthetic term that usually refers to art that deals with the themes of volition and value while also acknowledging objective reality and the importance of technique.
Though the term was used earlier (by Joseph Conrad), it was very much popularized by writer/philosopher Ayn Rand. Many Objectivists who consider themselves artists apply this term to themselves. Rand defined Romantic realism as a portrayal of things and people "as they might and ought to be." "Might be" implied realism, as contrasted with mere fantasy. "Ought to be" implied a moral vision and a standard of beauty and virtue. This combination is based on the idea that heroic values, and similar themes, are rational and 'realistic,' as a Romantic Realist wouldn't believe in a dichotomy between 'romanticism' and 'realism.'
As far as both their personal interests as well as objective comparisons go, romantic realist artists are more similar to romanticism than realism in what they produce. Romantic realism is often considered, more or less, a branch of romanticism.
One of the main proponents of the Romantic realist school today is Quent Cordair Fine Art based in Burlingame, California, USA. The studio features classical style sculpture, portraits, nudes, stillifes, landscapes and cityscapes, and depictions of aviation and space travel. Its exhibits are a fair depiction of Romantic Realism: highly stylized and realistic depictions of subject matter, optimistic themes, humanity portrayed as happy, beautiful and heroic; and lionization of technology and architecture. Subtle and not-so-subtle references to Ayn Rand and her writings are also evident.
Artists of Romantic Realism include:
"I am a Romantic in the sense that I present men as they ought to be. I am Realistic in the sense that I place them here and now and on this earth."
--Ayn Rand, quoted in "The Essentials of Objectivism," included in Signet's 1992 edition of her novel Atlas Shrugged
*[http://www.cordair.com/ Quent Cordair Fine Art] - Romantic Realist Art Gallery
*[http://www.anewheight.com New Height Books] - Romantic Realist Book Store
*[http://www.objectivistliving.com Objectivist Living Forum] Visit our Rational Galleries
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Romantic realism".