Eugene Fedorenko is Designing, Writing, Reading, and Traveling

Why didn’t great painters of the past reach the level of realism achieved today by many artists?

Day in and day out, we are inundated with photography and high res videos. We’re conditioned to think that clarity and resolution equal realism, and don’t question all the false visual information that we’re fed from these media. Our attention spans are small, and we don’t spend more than a few seconds with art before deciding if it’s good or bad and moving on. If it passes the 2 second “could be a photo” test, it’s considered good.

A great, deliberate answer on Quora that explains why hyperrealism and excessive details in paintings don't necessarily make them “good” or more real. Everything in this answer can be applied to painting vs photography as an art form, too.