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arts Famous Realism Artists  

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List of famous Realism artists, with images, bios, and information about their notable works. All the greatest artists associated with the Realism movement are included here, along with clickable names for more details on that particular painter or sculptor. Make sure to also check out weird personal quirks of iconic artists and artists who were actually bad humans. These notable Realism period artists are organized by popularity, so the best artists are at the top of the list. If you think the best Realism artist isn't as high as they should be then be sure to give them an upvote.

Realism was an artistic movement that was a direct response to Romanticism. The subjects of Realist paintings were industrial, non-exotic, and often ugly. Less about appearing realistic, Realist artists seeked to show their subject's reality without sugarcoating it. Working class people were often subjects in realist paintings. Ths list of artists includes Rembrandt, Edward Hooper, Gustave Courbet, and many additional artists as well.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the most famous Realism artists?" and "Who are the best Realism artists?"

Almost every well-known or influential figure in this movement is listed below. You can use the artists in this list to create a new list, re-rank it to fit your opinion, then publish it. 

Rembrandt is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Realism Artists
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Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the ...more

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Artworks: The Night Watch, Artemisia, David and Uriah, Self-Portrait The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, + more

Birthplace: Leiden, Kingdom of the Netherlands

Associated periods or movements: Dutch Golden Age, Realism, Baroque

Nationality: Dutch Republic

Art Forms: Painting, Printmaking, Drawing

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#86 on The Most Influential People of All Time

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Gustave Courbet is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Realism Artists
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4 people just voted on Gustave Courbet


Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet was a French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting. Committed to painting only what he could see, he rejected academic convention and the Romanticism of the previous generation of visual artists. His independence set an example that was ...more

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Artworks: Young Ladies of the Village, La rencontre (Bonjour Monsieur Courbet), The Stone Breakers, A Burial At Ornans The Wounded Man, + more

Birthplace: Ornans, France

Associated periods or movements: Realism, Realism

Nationality: France

Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting

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Winslow Homer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Realism Artists
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3 people just voted on Winslow Homer


Winslow Homer was an American landscape painter and printmaker, best known for his marine subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th-century America and a preeminent figure in American art. Largely self-taught, Homer began his career working as a commercial illustrator. He ...more

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Artworks: Breezing Up, The Blue Boat, West Point^! Prout's Neck, Prisoners from the Front Snap the Whip, + more

Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

Associated periods or movements: Tile Club, Realism, Realism

Nationality: United States of America

Art Forms: Painting, Drawing

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Edward Hopper is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Realism Artists
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Edward Hopper


Edward Hopper was a prominent American realist painter and printmaker. While he was most popularly known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching. Both in his urban and rural scenes, his spare and finely calculated renderings reflected his ...more

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Artworks: Nighthawks, Automat, Self-Portrait, Self-Portrait American Village, + more

Birthplace: Nyack, New York, United States of America

Associated periods or movements: Ashcan School, Realism

Nationality: United States of America

Art Forms: Etching, Painting, Printmaking

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William-Adolphe Bouguereau is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Realism Artists
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2 people just voted on William-Adolphe Bouguereau


William-Adolphe Bouguereau, November 30, 1825 – August 19, 1905, was a French academic painter and traditionalist. In his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body. During his life he enjoyed ...more

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Artworks: Dante and Virgil in Hell, The Birth of Venus, Breton Brother and Sister, The First Mourning Cupidon, + more

Birthplace: La Rochelle, France

Associated periods or movements: Academic art, L'art pompier, Neoclassicism, Realism Realism

Nationality: France

Art Forms: Fresco, Painting, Drawing

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Thomas Eakins is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Realism Artists
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Thomas Eakins


Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins was an American realist painter, photographer, sculptor, and fine arts educator. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important artists in American art history. For the length of his professional career, from the early 1870s until his health began to fail some ...more

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Artworks: The Chess Players, Miss Amelia Van Buren, Max Schmitt in a Single Scull, Salutat Self-portrait, + more

Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Associated periods or movements: Realism, American realism, Realism

Nationality: United States of America

Art Forms: Painting

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Edgar Degas is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Realism Artists
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Edgar Degas


Edgar Degas was a French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He is especially identified with the subject of dance; more than half of his works depict dancers. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, although he rejected the term, preferring to be ...more

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Artworks: Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, Ballet Rehearsal, Arabesque, Young Spartans Exercising Interior, + more

Birthplace: France, Paris

Associated periods or movements: Impressionism, Realism

Nationality: France

Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting, Drawing

Also Ranked

#74 on Historical Figures You Most Want to Bring Back from the Dead

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Édouard Manet is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Realism Artists
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Édouard Manet


Édouard Manet was a French painter. He was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, and a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism. His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia, both 1863, caused great controversy and served as rallying points ...more

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Artworks: Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, The Monet Family in Their Garden at Argenteuil, The Railway, Rochefort's Escape Music in the Tuileries, + more

Birthplace: France, Paris

Associated periods or movements: Impressionism, Realism, Realism

Nationality: France

Art Forms: Painting, Printmaking

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