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
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
'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
The Dictation Lesson, 1891 - Demetrio Cosola - www.realism-in-art.org
The Dictation Lesson, 1891
Demetrio Cosola
Dream - Mihaly von Zichy - www.realism-in-art.org
Dream
Mihaly von Zichy
Femme Etandant Sonligne - Jean-Francois Millet - www.realism-in-art.org
Femme Etandant Sonligne
Jean-Francois Millet
'Amato', the Winner of the Derby Stakes at Epsom, 1838 - John Frederick Herring Snr - www.realism-in-art.org
'Amato', the Winner of the Derby Stakes at Epsom, 1838
John Frederick Herring Snr
General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans - Alonzo Chappel - www.realism-in-art.org
General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans
Alonzo Chappel
Luisa San Felice in Prison - Giovacchino Toma - www.realism-in-art.org
Luisa San Felice in Prison
Giovacchino Toma
Bluebell Wood - Edward Clifford - www.realism-in-art.org
Bluebell Wood
Edward Clifford
Lingering Winter 1925 - Bruce Crane - www.realism-in-art.org
Lingering Winter 1925
Bruce Crane
Madame Helleu Writing - Paul Cesar Helleu - www.realism-in-art.org
Madame Helleu Writing
Paul Cesar Helleu
Troika,  Apprentices fetch water, 1866 - Vasily Perov - www.realism-in-art.org
Troika, Apprentices fetch water, 1866
Vasily Perov

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Page 7 of 92   Paintings: 1100