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Late 20th-century painting style based on photography, in which realistic scenes are rendered in meticulous detail. An offshoot of Pop art, it became a trend in U.S. painting in the 1970s among artists fascinated by camera images. Though photographs had been used by 19th-century painters such as Eugène Delacroix as substitutes for reality, the Photo-Realists relied on the photograph itself, replicating it in large-scale detail as the reality on which to base an acrylic painting. Its subjects often included reflecting surfaces (chrome-plated diners, motorcycles, glass-fronted buildings, etc.). Its awesome technical precision, brilliant colour schemes, and visual complexity earned the style wide popularity. Its most notable practitioners were Chuck Close, Don Eddy, Richard Estes, and Audrey Flack.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Photo-Realism, visit Britannica.com.
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