The interim verdict: your art preferences lie in realism, and it’s more exciting than it sounds) First let’s establish how realism differes from other styles of art depicting real life. A realistic painting reveals a realistic ideal – a concept really you need to understand. The “ideal” here is not something or someone extremely beautiful or… smart or something which is “the most…” as implied by the word “ideal” today. The ideal in realism is a person or a scene or a landscape that is capable of evoking the same feelings and response the viewer experiences observing the TYPE of people, objects, scenes or landscapes. The IDEAL is the TYPE. A portrait of a peasant, for instance, is not a portrait of a certain personality, and it is not an averaged image of all people living off the land. The portrait will reveal a person who ultimately demonstrates the most vivid, not only the most common, characteristics of a peasant. Individual characteristics are reduced to a minimum giving the floor to the traits and features that portray the similarities between these people, and the person on the painting is demonstrating these traits to the greatest possible extent. In realism a person lives the fullest possible life in the field he chooses, that being teaching, carpentry or excessive drinking. He is not an average person, teacher, carpeneter or an alcoholic – not an average, but the utmost representative of a profession or a social status, and this point cannot be stressed too much. And what a realist artist does is evoking the feelings the viewer has regarding this ideal, not an individual person, object or scene.