19th Century : Tradition and Innovation
The 19th century was an era when the old and new collided, accompanied with relatively unstable political and economic situation. The fall of the monarchy and the rise of the middle class resulted in a brand new perspective in art. Although history was still the favored subject and exquisite styles remained in the mainstream, artists followed the rise of modernization and began to break through conventions, bringing inspirations and interests into their work. Artists in this period responded to contemporary events, faced social unrest and evils with honesty, gained experiences from foreign cultures, and expressed what they observed instead of what they knew or learned. The freedom for creation and the power of self-inspection led viewers into a new era.