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Chapter 9


The conviction that art could promote social and political change inspired increasing  numbers of artists. Paintings, prints, and sculptures depicted the unnecessarily destitute living and working conditions of the urban lower classes for a more fortunate, affluent audience. The emotional tone of these images could be sentimental, straightforward, condescending, or ennobling depending on the artist's own attitudes and the reaction (s)he sought to evoke in her/his audience. Likewise, viewer reactions varied and were not always predictable: some responded with a feeling of superiority, others with pity, and some were roused to social activism. These portrayls attest to the intensifying interest of artists in showing the appearance of their time, which was changing at a rapid pace.


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Web Resources

Metmuseum: Realism


Map of locations

Map of Railway Growth in German States 1837-66