7 Realism Artists: The Artists Who Re-Defined Art

featured image of the realism artists

A painting that narrates a tale of its own with a clear vision, a colorful palette and a deep message hidden beneath the canvas. 

From poverty to rich class society, to the darker sides of life to the brighter phases of it, realists conveyed them all through their art. 

Realism artists covered it all; they presented and painted it all in some of their most famous artworks.

The realism art movement was regarded as the first modern art movement because the artists in this movement were very precise with their work. 

Many artists made their way to realism by following their great leader, Gustave Courbet.

The realism art acted as a bridge between the imagination and reality through the artist’s perspective.

There are many realism paintings that have made their way into some of the most prestigious art museums in the world.

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So, let us learn about some of the most famous realism artists that have embarked on their way into realism and the art world.

What is Realism in Art?

Artists of realism really tried and succeeded in bridging the gap between the imagination and reality with their art.

To convey a message that has deeper depths in it, it takes realism and perfection, and these are the qualities that the artists of realism portray.

Realism in art rejects all the traditional notions and forms of art like social organization, art, and literature.

This also helps the realism artists to be true to their canvases and to do justice with their brushwork.

Realism artists have defined art as a whole new spectrum by being contemporary and abstract at the same time.

If you notice any artworks of realism, then you can see that realism is a fine line between idealism and naturalism.

Realism Artists

Realism artists have always been known for their enchanting pieces of art and also for their depictions of the problems that humans face in their day-to-day lives.

Their depictions in their paintings have definitely come a long way.

Some of the famous museums and art galleries, like the Louvre, Paris and MoMA, have featured the works of these artists.

We cannot talk about the artists of an art movement without first talking about its founding father.

So, furthermore, we will discuss some of the famous realism artists, the first and foremost being Gustave Courbet! 

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1. Gustave Courbet

A famous realism artist Gustave Courbet
Image Source: Wikipedia, Image compiled by PortraitFlip

Gustave Courbet is generally regarded as the father of European Realism art.  

He was one of the most famous French artists and a leading contributor to the realism movement.

The jury at the Exposition Universelle in Paris rejected the French painter’s works, prompting him to coin the term “realism” for the first time in 1855. 

He established his own pavilion, which was parallel to the jury’s chamber. 

In his Pavillon du Realisme, Courbet made the decision to privately exhibit his paintings. 

For the exhibition, he also made the decision to release a manifesto titled “Le Réalisme.”

Artist NameGustave Courbet
D.O.B31 December 1877
Best ArtworksThe Stone Breakers, The Desperate Man, etc. 

2. Ilya Repin

One of the most famous realism artists Ilya Repin
Image Source: Wikipedia, Image compiled by PortraitFlip

Ukraine-born Ilya Yefimovich Repin was a Russian painter who rose to fame in the 19th century while he was part of the Russian Empire.

If someone had captured the essence of Russian realism, then it was none other than Ilya. 

He was one of the best-known advocates for realistic representation.

Paintings by him were some of the finest Realism art examples from the era. 

Fun fact: Ilya Repin created some spectacular landscape pastel portraits.

Artist NameIlya Repin 
D.O.B5 August 1844
Best ArtworksIvan the Terrible and his son Ivan, They did not expect him, etc. 

3. Rosa Bonheur

Rosa bonheur was a famous realism artist
Image Source: Wikipedia, Image compiled by PortraitFlip

Rosa Bonheur was one of the most famous female painters of the nineteenth century.

She was a realism artist who believed that their artworks had a story to tell.

Rosa was known for her depictions of animals, and she created paintings and sculptures in the same animalier style.

Here is a fact about Rosa Bonheur that she was a lesbian, and she was very open about it.

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She was known for living with her partner, Nathalie Micas, for over 40 years until Nathalie died, and Rosa then moved in with American painter Anna Elizabeth Klumpke.

Her realist style paintings gained fame over time and are now housed in some of the prestigious museums over the world.

Artist NameRosa Bonheur
D.O.B16 March 1822
Best ArtworksThe Horse Fair, Sheep by the Sea, etc. 

4. Édouard Manet

Edouard manet is a famous realist painter
Image Source: Wikipedia, Image compiled by PortraitFlip

The famous French artist Édouard Manet was a modernist painter.

His painting of a naked woman which was titled as, ‘Olympia’ went through a lot of controversies yet became on of his most known artworks.

He is frequently credited with bridging the gap between realism and impressionism, two of the most significant art movements of the 19th century.

Artist NameÉdouard Manet
D.O.B23 January 1832
Best ArtworksOlympia, The Spanish Singer, The Railway, etc. 

5. Thomas Eakins

Famous realist painter thomas eakins
Image Source: Wikipedia, Image compiled by PortraitFlip

American realist painter, photographer, sculptor, and art instructor Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins also taught art. 

Thomas Eakins, who primarily worked in the second half of the nineteenth century, painted sporting events and portraits with a strong realism influence.

He is regarded as one of the most significant artists in American history, having painted some of the finest realism paintings.

His paintings are considered to be some of the most famous examples of realism in art.

Artist NameThomas Eakins
D.O.B25 July 1844
Best ArtworksThe Gross Clinic, The Agnew Clinic, etc. 

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6. Jean-Francois Millet

a famous realism artist Jean francois millet
Image Source: Wikipedia, Image compiled by PortraitFlip

One of the founders of the Barbizon school of art was the French painter Jean-François Millet.

His paintings mainly focused on rural subjects, particularly peasants. He presented many genres of art under the realism movement.

His artworks are well known for their depictions of naturalism and realism.

His work was inspired by some of the leading and famous artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Jean-Siméon Chardin and many other artists.

Artist NameJean-Francois Millet
D.O.B4 October 1814
Best ArtworksThe Angelus, The Gleaners, etc. 

7. Edward Hopper

One of the most important personas in the American realism scene, Edward Hopper, was a printmaker and painter. 

Edward Hopper was one of a kind, and he was known to experiment with his art style, which also elevated the looks of the overall paintings.

His accurate portrayals of typical urban scenes startle the viewer into recognizing the strangeness of their own surroundings.

He is also known to have influenced the painters of pop art in the 1960s and 1970s.

His most famous artwork is the Nighthawks, in which he represents a lonely street of urban street and the loneliness of the city life.  

Artist NameEdward Hopper
D.O.B22 July 1882
Best ArtworksNighthawks, Chop Suey, etc. 

Wrapping Up

As artists, we all go through a period of time where we feel like our imagination needs to be painted on a canvas at the right time with the right resources.

Given the fact that during the 18th and 19th centuries, the phase in which realism was very prominent, the realism artists made the best use of the available resources. 

And yet, the paintings that they created still hold a lot of power and zeal to express the dedication of the realism artists of that time.

With that being said, do you also wish to own a painting that will just make an impact on your mind?

A painting that will be so close to your heart and will be related to the depths and history of the concept of realism in art?

Then, you should definitely explore our wide range of replicas.

We at PortraitFlip offer handmade replicas of some of the most famous paintings in history.


Author’s Epilouge

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Who is the father of realism in art?

Sir Gustave Courbet is the father of realism in art and the founder of the realism art movement.

Who is the most famous American realism artist?

Edward Hopper is the most famous American realism artist.

Name some of the famous realism artists.

Some of the famous artists of realism are: Ilya Repin, Jean-François Millet, Honoré Daumier, etc.

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