learning about 

The Realism Art Movement

What was realism?

Widely thought to signify the beginning of modern art, Realism was an art movement that discarded the traditional elements that had previously governed artworks.  Realism was the first clearly anti-institutional and non-conformist art movement.


This referred to the accurate depictions of subjects, their surroundings, and light and color.

The Third-Class Carriage  (1862 - 1864) Honoré Daumier 

The Stone Breakers (1849) Gustave Courbet

Nighthawks  (1942) Edward Hopper

Ploughing in the Nivernais  (1849) Rosa Bonheur

The Gleaners  (1857) Jean-François Millet


When looking at Realism as a literary movement, the writing that was created was often based on objective reality. 


The purpose of Realism in the theater was to bring focus to the psychological and social problems that occurred in everyday life.


Similar to the development of literature and theater, cinema relied greatly on the 19th century Realism movement for structure and thematic material.

Legacy of the realism art movement

Despite never existing as a completely coherent group, Realism is considered to be the first modern movement within art. However, after having gone through the movement’s history, it is still easy to ponder this question: What is Realism in art?