Academic Art

The term "Academic art" ("academicism" or "eclecticism") is traditionally used to describe the style of true-to-life but highminded realist painting and sculpture championed by the European academies of art, notably the French Academy of Fine Arts.

This "official" or "approved" style of art, which later came to be closely associated with Neoclassical painting and to a lesser extent the Symbolism movement, was embodied in a number of painterly conventions to be followed by all artists. In particular, there was a strong emphasis on the intellectual element, combined with a fixed set of aesthetics. Above all, paintings should contain a suitably highminded message.

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