Verism is an Italian version of realism that arose during the struggle for the unification of the country
Verism is a trend in Italian art of the second half of the 19th century, which is characterized by the most believable depiction of reality. It was a popular trend in painting, literature and music in Italy during the struggle for the unification of the country and the rise of the national liberation movement.
Verism, at its core, is a regional branch of realism, a global style in art widespread in Europe at the time. In the process of searching for new artistic methods, the realistic movement in painting subsequently split into two separate directions impressionism and naturalism.
Features of verism
Verism arose out of a wave of rejection by a small group of Italian artists of academic views in painting. The main idea of the supporters of the new trend was the desire to revive art, to make it an effective tool for displaying widespread socio-psychological conflicts in society.
The main features of verism include:
- Free style of combination of bright color spots.
- Emphasis in creativity on acute social topical topics.
- Laconic art composition.
A clearly distinguishable connection between works and modernity.
Most often, the heroes of the works of the verists were fighters for the independence of the Motherland and ordinary people. The followers of verism in their work constantly turned to the themes of the liberation war of the Italian people, as well as to the genres of everyday life and landscape.
The formation of the ideas of verism was significantly influenced by the work of representatives of the Barbizon school. And the ideals of skill for young artists were the creations of the great geniuses of past eras Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Tintoretto.
The history of verism
The history of verism is not very long. This movement arose in the late 1850s in Florence. Most of his supporters were active participants in the Italian bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1848, which ended in the defeat of the insurgent masses.
At that time, Italy remained fragmented, and most of its territory was under Austrian rule. After the suppression of the revolution, a period of violent reaction ensued, which subsequently led to the rapid growth of the national liberation movement under the leadership of Giuseppe Garibaldi. The Italians’ struggle for independence was ultimately crowned with success in June 1871, Rome became the capital of the united kingdom.
The birthplace of verism is rightfully considered Caffè Michelangiolo in Florence. Here for several years a group of young Italian artists constantly gathered for discussions on the topic of art and politics, who became the founders of a new direction of painting.
The most famous among them were:
- Giuseppe Abbati
- Cristiano Banti
- Odoardo Borrani
- Vincenzo Cabianca
- Adriano Cecioni
- Vito D’Ancona;
- Serafino De Tivoli;
- Giovanni Fattori
- Raffaello Sernesi
- Silvestro Lega;
- Telemaco Signorini.
All members of the group were united by the idea of abandoning the academic conventions of Italian painting at the time. They were the first in European art (a few years before the birth of impressionism in France) began to create their works in the open air in the open air, in order to capture natural colors and shadows in paintings. An unknown correspondent for Gazzetta del Popolo came up with a mocking name for the group Macchiaioli (from Italian macchia “spot”), which quickly caught on. It was the Macchiaioli participants who became the founders of verism.
The ideas of young artists were received with hostility by critics, devastating publications appeared in Italian newspapers, in which the works of followers of Verism were ridiculed. Despite this, most of the band members remained true to their beliefs over the next several decades.
Unfortunately, the innovative style of painting did not bring widespread recognition to the supporters of verism. Many of them experienced an acute shortage of money for the rest of their lives and died in poverty.
By the end of the 19th century, new revolutionary styles and movements had replaced realistic painting in European art. The epochs of Modernism and Avant-garde have come, and verism has become a part of the history of world culture. Most of the works of his followers today are in museums and private collections in Italy.