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The Bar at the Folies Bergère

The Angelus

Dempsey and Firpo

Max Schmitt in a Single Scull

The Horse Fair

Woman with a Pearl

Laundress on the Quai d'Anjou

The Oak at Flagey

The Dancing class


Realism in art was an attempt to describe human behavior and surroundings or to represent figures and objects exactly as they act or appear in life. Attempts at realism have been made periodically throughout history in all the arts; the term is, however, generally restricted to a movement that began in the mid-19th century, in reaction to the highly subjective approach of romanticism.

The difference between realism and naturalism is harder to define, however, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. The distinction lies in the fact that realism is concerned directly with what is absorbed by the senses; naturalism attempts to apply scientific theories to art.

In art, a realist approach has been manifested in different ways at various times. The term realist, used to describe a work of art, has often simply meant that "ugly" objects or figures are represented, as opposed to those considered "beautiful." Frequently used to describe scenes of humble life, the term implies a criticism of social conditions.

Artists related to Realism
George Wesley Bellows
George Caleb Bingham
Rosa Bonheur
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Gustave Courbet
Charles-Francois Daubigny
Honore Daumier
Edgar Degas
Thomas Eakins
Edouard Manet
Jean Francois Millet
Henry Ossawa Tanner


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