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The Realist movement in painting is essentially a 19th-century French phenomenon and is associated in particular with the work of Courbet (1819-77) and Jean-Fran├žois Millet (1814-75).

Rejecting the literary and exotic subjects of the Romantics and the idealised forms of the Classicists, these painters favoured the depiction of everyday life in a vigorous, naturalistic style.

Such work inspired a number of other artists. These 'realist' painters shared an approach, but were not formally associated with a manifesto. (See the entry for Realism.)