Academism (from the French academisme) is a direction in European painting of the 16th-19th centuries. It was based on dogmatic following the external forms of classical art. Followers characterized this style as a discourse on the art form of the ancient ancient world and the Renaissance. Academism replenished the traditions of ancient art, in which the image of nature was idealized, while compensating for the norm of beauty. Annibale, Agostino and Lodovico Carracci wrote in this style.
The history of the development of Academism is associated with the “Academy of the Right Path” in Bologna (c. 1585), the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture (1648) and the Russian Academy of Three Noble Arts (1757).
The activities of all the academies were based on a strictly regulated educational system, focused on the great achievements of previous eras – antiquity and the Italian Renaissance, from which the individual qualities of classical art that were accepted as ideal and unsurpassed were consciously selected. And the word “academy” itself emphasized continuity with ancient classics (Greek Academia – a school founded by Plato in the 4th century BC and deriving its name from the sacred grove near Athens, where the ancient Greek hero Akadem was buried).
Academicism has a dual meaning in the history of art. On the one hand, it served as a guarantee of preserving the traditions of the art school and respect for the cultural values of the past. But this same inclination towards traditionalism, canonicity carries the danger of separating Academism from modernity, turning it into a dogmatic, conservative direction that impedes the development of a living artistic process. For which criticized the opposing artists, innovators (Wanderers, Impressionists).
The path of Academism in art was not marked by any great discoveries or achievements. By virtue of its artificiality (“done”) and eclecticism, it is not an artistic style. Having no political background, he got along well in different eras, with different regimes (salon academism in France of the 19th century, social academism in the USSR), representing examples of undemanding bourgeois taste.
Masters of Academism: Alexander Cabanel, Adolphe-William Bouguereau, Tom Couture, Charles Gleur, Jules Bastien-Lepage, Fernand Cormon, Emil Auguste, Charles Carolus-Duran, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, John William Horvard, Heinrich Semiradsky, Konstantin Makovsky.