Realism in the visual arts is a style that depicts the actuality of what the eyes can see. The term is used in different senses in art history; it may mean the same as illusionism, the representation of subjects with visual mimesis or verisimilitude, or may mean an emphasis on the actuality of subjects, depicting them without idealization, and not omitting their sordid aspects. Works may be realist in either of these senses, or both. Use of the two senses can be confusing, but depending on context the second sense is perhaps more common.

Realism as a tendency in 19th century art was related to similar movements in the theatre, literature and opera. All emphasized the depiction of everyday subjects, but by no means always discarding classical, Romantic or sentimental approaches to their treatment. The movement began in the 1850s in France. One of Gustave Courbet's most important works is A Burial at Ornans, 1849-1850, a canvas recording an event which he witnessed in September 1848. Courbet's painting of the funeral of his grand uncle became the first grand statement of the Realist style.

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Page 7 of 92   Paintings: 1100
'Beeswing', a bay racehorse in a loosebox - John Frederick Herring Snr - www.realism-in-art.org
'Beeswing', a bay racehorse in a loosebox
John Frederick Herring Snr
First meeting of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton... - Alonzo Chappel - www.realism-in-art.org
First meeting of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton...
Alonzo Chappel
Diogenes 1905 - Jules Bastien-Lepage - www.realism-in-art.org
Diogenes 1905
Jules Bastien-Lepage
Man With A Hoe - Jean-Francois Millet - www.realism-in-art.org
Man With A Hoe
Jean-Francois Millet
George Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge, from... - Alonzo Chappel - www.realism-in-art.org
George Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge, from...
Alonzo Chappel
The Chess Players - Ture Nikolaus Cederstrom - www.realism-in-art.org
The Chess Players
Ture Nikolaus Cederstrom
'Antonio', the Winner of the Great St. Leger at Doncaster... - John Frederick Herring Snr - www.realism-in-art.org
'Antonio', the Winner of the Great St. Leger at Doncaster...
John Frederick Herring Snr
Dream - Mihaly von Zichy - www.realism-in-art.org
Dream
Mihaly von Zichy
Bedtime - H. Craig - www.realism-in-art.org
Bedtime
H. Craig
'Emilius', a bay racehorse in a paddock - John Frederick Herring Snr - www.realism-in-art.org
'Emilius', a bay racehorse in a paddock
John Frederick Herring Snr
Troika,  Apprentices fetch water, 1866 - Vasily Perov - www.realism-in-art.org
Troika, Apprentices fetch water, 1866
Vasily Perov
'Plenipotentiary', the Winner of the Derby Stakes at... - John Frederick Herring Snr - www.realism-in-art.org
'Plenipotentiary', the Winner of the Derby Stakes at...
John Frederick Herring Snr

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Page 7 of 92   Paintings: 1100