The French were able to take a hard look at the effects of the industrial revolution at the end of the Napoleonic wars. Appalled by the blighting effects of technology, misery of the lower class and the industrial smog of London, the French decided to approach modernism carefully. The British workers were more educated and more productive than the French were. The French slowed down industrialization contrary to England, a nation that transformed itself from a rural community to a more urban community and from an agricultural to an industrial nation. By the year 1840, England's agriculture was overtaken by industries in prominence but it was until 1950 when the rural way of life predominated in France. As an outcome of its economic policies, French was spared by industrial pollution that had made life in England a dark shrouded nightmare. The difference in artistic content between the French and English Realist artists is explained by their contrasting economies. Most artists were middle class aged, and they were financially secure enough to criticize the prevailing establishment by depicting their own age. They painted from a protected privileged position. The lower classes did not represent themselves because they were represented in terms of needs and attitudes of the dominant class. E.g. in France, Jean-Francoise Millet was from a wealthy background and concentrated on peasant life.In France, illustrating peasants were quite extensive with risk for an artist. Outside Paris, the lower classes were resistant.
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2 pages (500 words)Essay
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