Color Realism


Color realism is a fine art style where accurately portrayed colors create a sense of space and form. It employs a flattening of objects into areas of color, where the modulations occur more as a result of an object interacting with the color and light of its environment than the sculptural modeling of form or presentation of textural detail. The actual color of an object, or ‘local color’, is held secondary to how that color interacts with surrounding light sources that may alter the look of the original color. Warm light of the sun, cool light from the sky, and warm reflected light bouncing off other objects are all examples of how a local color may be affected by its location in space.

The development of increasingly accurate representation of the visual appearances of things has a long history in art. It includes elements such as the accurate depiction of the anatomy perspective and effects of distance, and of detailed effects of light and colour.

Color Realism Philosophy:
Within the philosophy of color, there is a dispute between color realism, the view that colors are physical properties that objects possess, and color fictionalism, a species of error theory viewing colors according to which there are no such physical properties that objects possess.

Within the ontology of color, there are various competing types of theories. One way of posing their relationship is in terms of whether they posit colors as sui generis properties (properties of a special kind that can’t be reduced to more basic properties or constellations of such). This divides color primitivism from color reductionism. A primitivism about color is any theory that explains colors as unreducible properties. A reductionism is the opposite view, that colors are identical to or reducible to other properties. Typically a reductionist view of color explains colors as an object’s disposition to cause certain effects in perceivers or the very dispositional power itself (this sort of view is often dubbed “relationalism”, since it defines colors in terms of effects on perceivers, but it also often called simply dispositionalism – various forms of course exist). An example of a notable theorist that defends this kind of view is the philosopher Jonathan Cohen.

Another type of reductionism is color physicalism. Physicalism is the view that colors are identical to certain physical properties of objects. Most commonly the relevant properties are taken to be reflectance properties of surfaces (though there are accounts of colors apart from surface colors too). Byrne, Hilbert and Kalderon defends versions of this view. They identify colors with reflectance types.

A reflectance type is a set, or type, of reflectances, and a reflectance is a surface’s disposition to reflect certain percentages of light specified for each wavelength within the visible spectrum.

Both relationalism and physicalism of these kinds are so called realist theories, since apart from specifying what colors are, they maintain that colored things exist.

Primitivism may be either realist or antirealist, since primitivism simply claims that colors aren’t reducible to anything else. Some primitivists further accept that, though colors are primitive properties, no real or nomologically possible objects have them. Insofar as we visually represent things as colored – on this view – we are victims of color illusions. For this reason primitivism that denies that colors are ever instantiated is called an error theory.

Color Realism Art:
Color realism painting, with very subtle techniques for depicting a range of weather conditions and degrees of natural light. After being another development of Early Netherlandish painting, though the subjects were often idealized by smoothing features or giving them an artificia

Earliest proponents of this style include the Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer and Hendrick Terbrugghen. Recent artists working with this style include the Boston School of painters, such as Edmund Tarbell and William McGregor Paxton. These artists combined vibrant Impressionist pastel colors with a more traditional palette, to create color-realist works that have a full range of dark to light values. Contemporary artists utilizing elements of this style include Sam Vokey, Charles Tersolo, and Barbara Glee Lucas.

Realism revolted against the exotic subject matter and exaggerated emotionalism and drama of the Romantic movement. Instead, it sought to portray real and typical contemporary people and situations with truth and accuracy, and not avoiding unpleasant or sordid aspects of life.

Realism is the precise, detailed and accurate representation in art of the visual appearance of scenes and objects i.e., it is drawn in photographic precision. Realism in this sense is also called naturalism, mimesis or illusionism. Realistic art was created in many periods, and it is in large part a matter of technique and training, and the avoidance of stylization

As well as accuracy in shape, light and colour, realism paintings show an unscientific but effective knowledge of representing distant objects smaller than closer ones, and representing regular geometric forms such as the roof and walls of a room with perspective. Color realism illusionistic effects in no way meant a rejection of idealism, attempt to represent with accuracy idealized and beautiful forms, shows a greater commitment to a truthful depiction of its subjects.

Realism art rejected illusionism for expressive force, and were helped by the development of new techniques of oil painting which allowed very subtle and precise effects of light to be painted using very small brushes and several layers of paint and glaze. Scientific methods of representing perspective were developed and gradually spread, and accuracy rediscovered under the influence of Color realism art.

Color Realism Dispute:
Color vision became an important part of contemporary analytic philosophy. Colorblind and most mammals do not really have color vision because their vision differs from the vision of “normal” humans. Similarly, creatures with more advanced color vision, although better able to distinguish objects than people, are suffering from color illusions because their vision differs from humans.

The psychologist respect to color ontology that generalizes, specifically assigns color to light, and extends the idea of color realism to all sensory experience, an approach he refers to as “quality realism”.

The psychologist emphasized the subjective nature of color vision and identifies subjective colors with coding vectors in neural networks. Empirical psychologists to the conclusion that colors cannot possibly be part of the physical world, but are instead purely mental features.

Many philosophers follow empirical psychologists in endorsing color irrealism, the view that colors are entirely mental constructs and not physical features of the world. Surprisingly, most philosophers who have extensively addressed the topic have attempted to defend color realism against the empirical psychologists who universally defend color antirealism (aka irrealism).