Realism was a movement in literature and art in the mid-1800s that highlighted suffering caused by industrialization. It emphasized the depiction of everyday subjects. Naturalism is considered an extension of Realism. In literature the term Naturalism was invented by Émile Zola.
The Realists democratized art by depicting modern subjects drawn from the everyday lives of the working class. Rejecting the idealized classicism of academic art and the exotic themes of Romanticism, Realism was based on direct observation of the modern world. In keeping with Gustave Courbet's statement in 1861 that "painting is an essentially concrete art and can only consist in the representation of real and existing things," 
Realism is a recurrent theme in painting since the detailed renderings of everyday objects on the walls of 1st-century Pompeii; Caravaggio, The Spanish School (José de Ribera, Francisco de Zurbarán, Diego Velazquez, Murillo), The Netherland school of still-life painting as well as Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin anticipate 19th-Century Realists painters; Realism became a coherent movement after 1850.
William Bliss Baker (1859 - 1886), an American artist born in New York City, is an example of Naturalism art; Morning After the Snow (1885) and Fallen Monarchs (1886), are some of his masterpieces.
Fallen Monarchs by William Bliss Baker, 1886.
Main representative painters
- Rembrandt Precursor.
- Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin Precursor.
- Francisco Goya Precursor.
- Camille Corot Precursor.
- Gustave Courbet
- Honoré Daumier
- Jean-François Millet
- Adolphe William Bouguereau
- José María Velasco
- Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema
- William Holman Hunt
- John William Waterhouse
- Ivan Aivazovsky
- Ilya Repin
- Thomas Eakins
- Winslow Homer
- James Abbott McNeill Whistler
- William Bliss Baker
- Realism and Naturalism
- BAKER, WILLIAM BLISS.
- Learn about Realism, View Famous Paintings by Famous Artists.
- Caravaggio. The Art of Realism. Book by John Varriano.
- French Art - The Peasant Painters.
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