Realism painting in the 1800's

Unlike their counterparts at the time, the Romanticists and Neo-Classical Painters, Realist Painters at the time were only interested in depicting what they could see and observe. There was no allegory or overt narratives, Realists felt that documenting moments and people places and things were worthwhile subject matter in of them selves.

Jean Francois Millet, The Gleaners, 1857. Oil on Canvas, 32" x 43". Musee d'Orsay, Paris
  • Realism Emerges as the third style of the early to mid 1800's
  • The Realist emphasize the depiction of the common everyday world
  • Realist paintins cause anger among critics. They are largely rejected by academics

People were upset by the glorification of the working class, and the academy's of the day would not accept the work for exhibition.

Realism struggled also due to the need for artists to fill the role of documentation. Sketches, drawings, and paintings were as late as the end of World War I the best way to capture, document and share the scenes around the world. This was at odds with notion of Realism at the same time being seen as Art.

Rosa Bonheur, a French painter is a stand out among Realist painters for being a woman in a typically masculine field and specifically for her paintings of AnimalsĀ 

Jean Francois Millet, 1814-1875, influenced by workers and farming life, he would later be a great influence on Vincent Van Gogh

Winslow Homer 1836 - 1910 was a primarily self taught artist and also artist-reporter during the Americian civil war

Thomas Eakins 1844-1916, perhaps the most influential and best know of the Realist Painters. No stranger to controversy, shocking the public and with his Gross Anatomy Clinic, and eventually getting fired from his position as a art proffessor for insisting on using nude models!

The Gross Anatomy Clinic, 1875
  • Sources Cited Discovering Art History
  • http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/realism/Rosa-Bonheur.html
  • https://www.artsy.net/artwork/jean-francois-millet-the-gleaners
  • https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/artists/jean-francois-millet
  • http://www.metmuseum.org

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