Realism in art is an attitude as much as a style. From the mid-19th century, Realist painters rebelled against the art academies and their old-fashioned themes, which seemed increasingly irrelevant in a world newly dominated by science and technology. The Realists reasoned that all meaningful knowledge came from what they could see and directly experience. Instead of depicting aristocrats and myths, they chose ordinary people and events as the subjects of their works. Gustave Courbet, the leader of the movement in art, expressed the Realists' point of view when he declared that he could not draw an angel because he had never seen one.