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.

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 1 Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas
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Famous As: Impressionist Painter
Birthdate: July 19, 1834
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: French
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.

 2 Caravaggio

Caravaggio
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 29, 1571
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
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.
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 3 Édouard Manet

Édouard Manet
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 23, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: French
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.

 4 Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
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.

 5 Will Sampson

Will Sampson
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 27, 1933
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: June 3, 1987

 6 Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth
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Birthdate: July 12, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: January 16, 2009
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 7 Gustave Courbet

Gustave Courbet
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 10, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: French
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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 8 Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 24, 1836
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: September 29, 1910
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 9 Thomas Eakins

Thomas Eakins
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 25, 1844
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: June 25, 1916

 10 Henry Ossawa Tanner

Henry Ossawa Tanner
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Birthdate: June 21, 1859
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: May 25, 1937

 11 James Tissot

James Tissot
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 15, 1836
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: French
Died: August 8, 1902

 12 George Catlin

George Catlin
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 26, 1796
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: December 23, 1872

 13 Isaac Levitan

Isaac Levitan
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 30, 1860
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Lithuanian, Russian
Died: August 4, 1900

 14 Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: June 29, 0000
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 15 František Kupka

František Kupka
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: September 23, 1871
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Czech
Died: June 24, 1957

 16 George Inness

George Inness
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 1, 1825
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: August 3, 1894

 17 Adolph Menzel

Adolph Menzel
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 8, 1815
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: German, Polish
Died: February 9, 1905

 18 Ivan Albright

Ivan Albright
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 20, 1897
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: November 18, 1983

 19 Clara Peeters

Clara Peeters
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1594 AD
Nationality: Belgian, Spanish, Dutch
Died: 1659 AD

 20 Beryl Cook

Beryl Cook
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: September 10, 1926
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: May 28, 2008

 21 Antonis Mor

Antonis Mor
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Famous As: Netherlandish painter
Birthdate: 1517 AD
Nationality: Dutch
Died: 1577 AD

 22 William Glackens

William Glackens
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 13, 1870
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: May 22, 1938

 23 Jules Pascin

Jules Pascin
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 31, 1885
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Bulgarian
Died: June 5, 1930

 24 Adriaen van Ostade

Adriaen van Ostade
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 10, 1610
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Dutch
Died: May 2, 1685

 25 Almeida Junior

Almeida Junior
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 8, 1850
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Brazilian
Died: November 13, 1899

 26 John Randall Bratby

John Randall Bratby
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 19, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: July 20, 1992

 27 Philip Pearlstein

Philip Pearlstein
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 24, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 28 George Luks

George Luks
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: August 13, 1867
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: October 29, 1933

 29 Yasuo Kuniyoshi

Yasuo Kuniyoshi
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 1, 1889
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Japanese, American
Died: May 14, 1953

 30 Giovanni di Paolo

Giovanni di Paolo
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1403 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: 1482 AD

 31 Carle Vernet

Carle Vernet
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 14, 1758
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: French
Died: November 17, 1836

 32 Oswald Achenbach

Oswald Achenbach
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 2, 1827
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German
Died: February 1, 1905

 33 Kenyon Cox

Kenyon Cox
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 27, 1856
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: March 17, 1919

 34 Karl von Piloty

Karl von Piloty
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: October 1, 1826
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: German
Died: July 21, 1886

 35 Caspar Netscher

Caspar Netscher
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1639 AD
Nationality: German, Dutch
Died: January 15, 1684

 36 John F. Peto

John F. Peto
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 21, 1854
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: November 23, 1907

 37 Gaspard Dughet

Gaspard Dughet
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 15, 1615
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: French
Died: May 27, 1675

 38 Spinello Aretino

Spinello Aretino
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1350 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: March 14, 1410

 39 David Teniers the Elder

David Teniers the Elder
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1582 AD
Nationality: Belgian
Died: July 29, 1649

 40 Howard Kanovitz

Howard Kanovitz
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 9, 1929
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: February 2, 2009

 41 Wang Hui

Wang Hui
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1632 AD
Nationality: Chinese
Died: 1717 AD

 42 Gong Xian

Gong Xian
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1618 AD
Nationality: Chinese
Died: 1689 AD

 43 Martin Mull

Martin Mull
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 18, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
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.

 44 Chokuan Soga

Chokuan Soga
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: Japanese
Died: 1610 AD

 45 Carl Bloch

Carl Bloch
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 23, 1834
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Danish
Died: February 22, 1890

 46 Peder Severin Krøyer

Peder Severin Krøyer
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 23, 1851
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Danish
Died: November 21, 1909

 47 Peder Mørk Mønsted

Peder Mørk Mønsted
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 10, 1859
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Danish
Died: June 21, 1941

 48 Henrika Šantel

Henrika Šantel
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 17, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Slovenian
Died: February 15, 1940

 49 H. A. Brendekilde

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

 50 Ivana Kobilca

Ivana Kobilca
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 20, 1861
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Slovenian
Died: December 4, 1926
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