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A style of painting that resembles photography in its meticulous attention to realistic detail.

pho′to·re′al·ist adj. & n.
pho′to·re′al·is′tic adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Art Terms) a style of painting and sculpture that depicts esp commonplace urban images with meticulously accurate detail
ˌphotoˈrealist n, adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌfoʊ toʊˈri əˌlɪz əm)

n. (sometimes cap.)
a style of painting depicting scenes in meticulously realistic detail, in emulation of photography.
pho′to•re′al•ist, n., adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He took his place amongst American Photorealists, featuring in group shows with others including Chuck Close, Richard Estes, Robert Bechtle and Ralph Goings.
DISC'S entry features the images of eight of the world's master photorealists. In addition to earning 10 Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards, the DISC calendar was ranked among the six finalists for "Best of Show"--for the third time.
Because Ivan Karp had taken my slides all over America and at the end of the year there was 100 photorealists. One specialized in racehorses; another guy did diners, using an airbrush.
* learn about and discuss the artwork of Chuck Close, and become aware of photorealists within art history.
Photorealists, many of them influenced by Estes, painted varied images, portraits as well as landscapes, in exquisite detail.
Elaborating the processes of the first-generation Photorealists from whom her approach descends, New Yorker Judith Eisler has found room to work in this territory of generative recapitulation, in the razor-thin spaces between the "original" and the faithful copy.
In 1970, Robert Hughes did a piece called "The Realist as Corn God," which featured this group of painters, plus painters who were a bit off in the direction of photography, although I wouldn't call either of them photorealists. I mean, Richard Estes, and Chuck Close were also featured in that Hughes piece.
"Perceptual" realism, in contrast, is based more on sight and light, as was the art of Vermeer as well as the art of the photorealists. (Lucie-Smith's explanation of American realism is never far from the tradition of the European masters--Vermeer, David, Corot--as well as the Hellenic sculptors.) While the text is skillfully written and most approachable, it does require a degree of familiarity with the general history of Western art.
Procedure: David Parrish's type of photorealism is different from that of Richard Estes and some other artists who are also called "photorealists." How is it different and how does photorealism differ from trompe I'oeil painting?
Photorealism was over, and the fact that he had been making these paintings before some of our photorealists had even gotten out of art school didn't really register with anybody.