Famous Realism Artists

List Rules
Vote up the best Realism artists.

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
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    240 VOTES
    Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, also US: , Dutch: [ˈrɛmbrɑnt ˈɦɑrmə(n)soːn vɑn ˈrɛin] (listen); 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch draughtsman, painter and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history. Unlike most Dutch masters of the 17th century, Rembrandt's works depict a wide range of style and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes as well as animal studies. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural ...more
    • Artworks: The Night Watch, Artemisia, David and Uriah, Self-Portrait, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee
    • Birthplace: Leiden, Kingdom of the Netherlands
    • Associated periods or movements: Dutch Golden Age, Realism, Baroque
    • Nationality: Dutch Republic
    • Art Forms: Painting, Printmaking, Drawing
  • Gustave Courbet
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    162 VOTES
    Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet (UK: KOOR-bay, US: koor-BAY, French: [ɡystav kuʁbɛ]; 10 June 1819 – 31 December 1877) was a French painter who led the Realism 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 important to later artists, such as the Impressionists and the Cubists. Courbet occupies an important place in 19th-century French painting as an innovator and as an artist willing to make bold social statements through his work. Courbet's paintings of the late 1840s and early 1850s brought him his first ...more
    • Artworks: Young Ladies of the Village, La rencontre (Bonjour Monsieur Courbet), The Stone Breakers, A Burial At Ornans, The Wounded Man
    • Birthplace: Ornans, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Realism, Realism
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting
  • Winslow Homer
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    116 VOTES
    Winslow Homer (February 24, 1836 – September 29, 1910) 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 subsequently took up oil painting and produced major studio works characterized by the weight and density he exploited from the medium. He also worked extensively in watercolor, creating a fluid and prolific oeuvre, primarily chronicling his working vacations.
    • Artworks: Breezing Up, The Blue Boat, West Point, Prout's Neck, Prisoners from the Front
    • Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts
    • Associated periods or movements: Tile Club, Realism, Realism
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Painting, Drawing
  • Édouard Manet (US: ; UK: ; French: [edwaʁ manɛ]; 23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883) was a French modernist 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. Born into an upper-class household with strong political connections, Manet rejected the future originally envisioned for him, and became engrossed in the world of painting. His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) and Olympia, both 1863, caused great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today, these are considered watershed paintings that mark the ...more
    • Artworks: Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, The Monet Family in Their Garden at Argenteuil, The Railway, Rochefort's Escape, Music in the Tuileries
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Impressionism, Realism, Realism
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Painting, Printmaking
  • Edward Hopper
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    106 VOTES
    Edward Hopper (July 22, 1882 – May 15, 1967) was an American realist painter and printmaker. While he is best 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 personal vision of modern American life.
    • Artworks: Nighthawks, Automat, Self-Portrait, Self-Portrait, American Village
    • Birthplace: Nyack, New York
    • Associated periods or movements: Ashcan School, Realism
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Etching, Painting, Printmaking
  • Ilya Repin
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    40 VOTES
    Ilya Yefimovich Repin (Russian: Илья́ Ефи́мович Ре́пин, tr. Il'ya Yefimovich Repin, IPA: [ˈrʲepʲɪn]; Finnish: Ilja Jefimovitš Repin; Ukrainian: Ілля́ Юхи́мович Рє́пін;5 August [O.S. 24 July] 1844 – 29 September 1930) was a Russian realist painter. He was the most renowned Russian artist of the 19th century, when his position in the world of art was comparable to that of Leo Tolstoy in literature. He played a major role in bringing Russian art into the mainstream of European culture. His major works include Barge Haulers on the Volga (1873), Religious Procession in Kursk Province (1883) and Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks (1880–91). Repin was born in Chuguyev, in Kharkov Governorate, ...more
    • Artworks: Portrait of Leonid Nikolayevich Andreyev, Portrait of Vsevolod Mikhailovich Garshin, Portrait of Alexey Bogolyubov, Portrait of the painter Isaak Izrailevich Brodsky, Self-Portrait
    • Birthplace: Chuhuiv, Ukraine
    • Associated periods or movements: Realism, Realism
    • Nationality: Russia, Russian Empire
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting