Realist Painters

The Realism art movement in painting originated in France in the middle of the 19th century, following the 1848 Revolution. Painters like Gustave Courbet revolted against the set ideals of the prevalent Romantic Movement and adopted a more independent style of unidealized painting which soon became known as the Realism art movement. Realism, which favored depiction of “real life” found many eager adherents in painters who wished to break free of the exaggerated drama of the Romantic Movement. Jean-François Millet, a realist painter who gained fame for his scenes of peasant farmers, went on to found the Barbizon school of realistic art in rural France. Realism also offered the artists the freedom of depicting social situations in an unidealized manner, thereby bringing to mainstream attention the challenges faced by the underprivileged sections of the society. Honoré-Victorin Daumier was one such artist who through his realistic depictions offered commentary on social and political life in France in the 19th century. He was best known for his unflattering caricatures of political figures and satires on the behavior of his countrymen. Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Édouard Manet, and Jules Breton were some other prominent artists of the movement. Read on for more information about the life and works of famous Realist painters.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Caravaggio

Caravaggio.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 29, 1571
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milan
Died: July 18, 1610
Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio is best remembered for his influence on the Baroque style of painting. He pioneered a tactic known as tenebrism, and combined light and darkness to create his masterpieces. He was known for his erratic and aggressive nature and died under mysterious circumstances.

 2 Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas.
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Famous As: Impressionist Painter
Birthdate: July 19, 1834
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 27, 1917

French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas is best remembered for his oil paintings and pastel drawings and for his signature use of dancers and bathing women as themes in his works such as Fin d'Arabesque and Woman in a Tub. He had also experimented with bronze sculptures and called himself a realist.

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 3 Martin Mull

Martin Mull.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 18, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Actor/comedian Martin Mull soared to fame with the soap Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and its spin-off, Fernwood 2 Night. He also delivered an Emmy-nominated performance in Veep and voiced a role in Danny Phantom. An avid painter, too, he has held various exhibitions and released a book of his paintings.

 4 Édouard Manet

Édouard Manet.
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 23, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 30, 1883

Édouard Manet was a French painter who played a key role in the transition to Impressionism from Realism in the 19th-century. Manet was one of the first artists from his generation to paint modern life. His early masterworks, such as Olympia, served as rallying points for young and aspiring impressionist painters. His works continue to influence painters around the world.

 5 Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade.
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
Died: April 6, 2012

Painter Thomas Kinkade is remembered for his realistic and idyllic themes. He gained fame by selling printed copies of his art through the Thomas Kinkade Company. He called himself the "Painter of Light” and copyrighted the phrase, too. The movie Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage was based on his life.

 6 Will Sampson

Will Sampson
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 27, 1933
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Okmulgee, Oklahoma, USA
Died: June 3, 1987
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 7 Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth.
4
Birthdate: July 12, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania,, United States
Died: January 16, 2009
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 8 Gustave Courbet

Gustave Courbet.
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 10, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ornans, Doubs, France
Died: December 31, 1877
Born to a farmer in eastern France, Gustave Courbet was initially gearing up to study law but later deviated to art. He started by copying Spanish painters and later rebelled against Romanticism, focusing on real-life subjects around him instead and thus developing 19th-century Realism.
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 9 Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer.
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 24, 1836
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 29, 1910

 10 Jean-François Millet

Jean-François Millet
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: October 4, 1814
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gréville-Hague, La Hague, France
Died: January 20, 1875

 11 Gustave Caillebotte

Gustave Caillebotte
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 19, 1848
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 21, 1894

 12 Thomas Eakins

Thomas Eakins.
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 25, 1844
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 25, 1916

 13 Henry Ossawa Tanner

Henry Ossawa Tanner.
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Birthdate: June 21, 1859
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died: May 25, 1937

 14 James Tissot

James Tissot
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 15, 1836
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nantes, France
Died: August 8, 1902

 15 George Catlin

George Catlin
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 26, 1796
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: December 23, 1872

 16 Isaac Levitan

Isaac Levitan
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 30, 1860
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kibartay, Lithuania
Died: August 4, 1900

 17 Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: June 29, 0000
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Culver City, California, United States

 18 František Kupka

František Kupka
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: September 23, 1871
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Opočno, Czech Republic
Died: June 24, 1957

 19 George Inness

George Inness
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 1, 1825
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Newburgh, New York, United States
Died: August 3, 1894

 20 Carl Bloch

Carl Bloch
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 23, 1834
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: February 22, 1890

 21 Peder Severin Krøyer

Peder Severin Krøyer
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 23, 1851
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Stavanger, Norway
Died: November 21, 1909

 22 Adolph Menzel

Adolph Menzel
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 8, 1815
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Poland
Died: February 9, 1905

 23 Jules Bastien-Lepage

Jules Bastien-Lepage
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 1, 1848
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Damvillers, France
Died: December 10, 1884

 24 Mati Klarwein

Mati Klarwein
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 9, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: March 7, 2002

 25 Ivan Albright

Ivan Albright
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 20, 1897
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: North Harvey, Illinois, United States
Died: November 18, 1983

 26 Clara Peeters

Clara Peeters
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1594 AD
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: 1659 AD

Clara Peeters was a Flemish painter from Antwerp known for her still-life works. Active in both the Spanish Netherlands and the Dutch Republic, she is the most famous female Flemish artist of her era. She was one of the few women artists working professionally in 17th-century Europe. She is believed to have been a wealthy and successful artist.  

 27 Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau

Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 20, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain

Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau Nieto is a Spanish hyperrealist painter, who developed a passion for oil painting and an interest in military activities and horses early in his life. He, continued to paint while serving as a textile designer and later while undergoing national service in the Spanish Army. He now specializes in historical military paintings, which portray various epochs of the Spanish Armed Forces.

 28 Beryl Cook

Beryl Cook
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: September 10, 1926
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Egham, Surrey, England
Died: May 28, 2008

 29 Antonis Mor

Antonis Mor
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Famous As: Netherlandish painter
Birthdate: 1517 AD
Birthplace: Utrecht, Netherlands
Died: 1577 AD

 30 Peder Mørk Mønsted

Peder Mørk Mønsted
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 10, 1859
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Grenaa, Denmark
Died: June 21, 1941

 31 William Glackens

William Glackens
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 13, 1870
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 22, 1938

 32 Jules Pascin

Jules Pascin
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 31, 1885
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vidin, Bulgaria
Died: June 5, 1930

 33 Christian Krohg

Christian Krohg
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Famous As: Naturalist painter
Birthdate: August 13, 1852
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vestre Aker, Oslo
Died: October 16, 1925

 34 Adriaen van Ostade

Adriaen van Ostade
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 10, 1610
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Haarlem, Netherlands
Died: May 2, 1685

 35 John Randall Bratby

John Randall Bratby
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 19, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wimbledon, England
Died: July 20, 1992

 36 Almeida Junior

Almeida Junior.
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 8, 1850
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Itu, São Paulo, Brazil
Died: November 13, 1899

 37 George Luks

George Luks
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: August 13, 1867
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Williamsport, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: October 29, 1933

 38 Yasuo Kuniyoshi

Yasuo Kuniyoshi
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 1, 1889
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Okayama, Japan
Died: May 14, 1953

Born in Japan, Yasuo Kuniyoshi moved to the U.S. to avoid military school and began studying painting in Los Angeles and New York instead. His works such as I’m Tired depict women. He was the first living artist to earn a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

 39 Giovanni di Paolo

Giovanni di Paolo
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1403 AD
Birthplace: Siena, Italy
Died: 1482 AD

 40 Carle Vernet

Carle Vernet
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 14, 1758
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: November 17, 1836

 41 Philip Pearlstein

Philip Pearlstein
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 24, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

 42 Oswald Achenbach

Oswald Achenbach
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 2, 1827
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Düsseldorf, Germany
Died: February 1, 1905

 43 Ivana Kobilca

Ivana Kobilca
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 20, 1861
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Died: December 4, 1926

 44 H. A. Brendekilde

H. A. Brendekilde
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 7, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Odense, Denmark
Died: March 30, 1942

 45 Kenyon Cox

Kenyon Cox
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 27, 1856
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warren, Ohio, United States
Died: March 17, 1919

 46 Karl von Piloty

Karl von Piloty
1
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: October 1, 1826
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: July 21, 1886

 47 Henrika Šantel

Henrika Šantel
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 17, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Gorizia, Italy
Died: February 15, 1940

 48 Anton Ažbe

Anton Ažbe
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 30, 1862
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Municipality of Gorenja Vas-Poljane, Slovenia
Died: August 6, 1905

 49 Caspar Netscher

Caspar Netscher
1
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1639 AD
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Germany
Died: January 15, 1684

 50 John F. Peto

John F. Peto
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 21, 1854
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 23, 1907
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