Skip to main content


Realist Movement

The Realist movement in painting is essentially a 19th-century French phenomenon and is associated in particular with the work of Courbet (1819-77).

Rejecting the literary and exotic subjects of the Romantics and the idealised forms of the Classicists, Courbet 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.)