Literary realism is part of the realist art movement beginning with mid nineteenth-century French literature (Stendhal), and Russian literature (Alexander Pushkin) and extending to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Literary realism, in contrast to idealism, attempts to represent familiar things as they are.Realist authors chose to depict everyday and banal activities and experiences, instead of using a romanticized or similarly stylized presentation. Literary critic Ian Watt, however, dates the origins of realism in United Kingdom to the early 18th-century novel. Subsequent related developments in the arts are naturalism, social realism, and in the 1930s, socialist realism.
Broadly defined as "the faithful representation of reality", realism in the arts is the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, implausible, exotic and supernatural elements.
Realism has been prevalent in the arts at many periods, and is in large part a matter of technique and training, and the avoidance of stylization. In the visual arts, illusionistic realism is the accurate depiction of lifeforms, perspective, and the details of light and colour. Realist works of art may emphasize the ugly or sordid, such as works of social realism, regionalism, or Kitchen sink realism.