The Realism art period was a movement that arose during the mid-19th century in response to the dramatic changes taking place in European society. This artistic style focused on depicting everyday life, often with an emphasis on social issues and contemporary politics. Key figures associated with this movement include Gustave Courbet and Jean-Francois Millet, both of whom were proponents of an extreme form of Realism that challenged traditional notions of beauty and aesthetic values. Today, these artists continue to be regarded as some of the most influential figures in the history of modern art.
As a movement, Realism emerged during the mid-19th century in response to the dramatic changes taking place in European society. At this time, there was a growing dissatisfaction with the aristocratic and religious hierarchies that had dominated European culture for centuries, as well as a newfound interest in science and social progress. In the visual arts, these shifts were reflected in an increasing focus on depicting everyday life, often with an emphasis on social issues and contemporary politics.
This emphasis on reality, rather than idealism, was one of the defining features of the Realist style, and helped to set it apart from other artistic movements taking place during this period.
Click on the artist’s name below to learn more.
(Green links are live, black links are coming soon.)
- Jules Bastien-Lepage
- Rosa Bonheur
- Gustave Courbet
- Edouard Manet
- Jean François Millet
- Edward Mitchell Bannister
- Thomas Eakins
- Winslow Homer
- Edmonia Lewis
- Albert Pinkham Ryder
- John Singer Sargent
- Henry Ossawa Tanner
- James Abbott McNeill Whistler (Tonalism)