It should be noted here that this was a time when religion had lost its hold over the common man with the advent of modernity. Religion and mythology were losing the charm and power they exercised over the common man. Also church was no longer the only powerful figure who commissioned artists to paint artworks on religious or mythological stories. Thus artists became inspired by the common man. In both the romantic and the realist era, common man gained a certain respect. Artists became fascinated with the life of the common man and focused on his life. The Romantic focused on the common man’s emotions while the realists focused on the commonness of man. Both the art movements were more inspired by the rural man rather than the urban one. This is because previously rural life had been ignored in the art circle and in the Romantic era, the subject came forward as an original subject or theme. This was then brought forward by the Realist movement where artists removed the exaggerated emotion from the common man and presented him as he was. In order to draw an effective comparison between the two movements, one artwork from both the movements would be analyzed. The artwork selected from the Romantic Era is The Raft of Medusa painted by Théodore Géricault. The painting selected from the Realist Era is Stone Breakers by Gustav Courbet. The Raft of Medusa depicts the survivors of the French naval frigate Meduse. It depicts a horrendous scene about how the survivors endured the destruction and how they lived.
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