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Realism in art is defined in the same way as it would be in literature; it is the rendering of the subject matter as it really is without being embellished or putting one's personal influence on it.

The whole emphasis with a realist painting is to portray the scene or the person as is in a no frills and unromantic fashion. What is sought in realism is to relay exactly what the artist is seeing to the future viewer of the painting without adding to or taking away from the subject

Realist painters are more likely to work in subject matter that is commonplace and everyday such as farming, fishing, and other normal everyday pastimes as well specializing in painting the elderly. The colors chosen are completely non embellished and even border on being drab compared to other styles of painting.

The Dutch were famous for embracing realism and the detail of the paintings from the Dutch Masters is unsurpassed. Rembrandt was one of the most famous of these realist painters whose works are admired and studied to this day. I look at these paintings and am amazed by the attention to detail that they were able to show

Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet or Gustave Courbet (on June 10 1819-77), is known for coining the term Realism, as he was interested in portraying things as they were. Courbet started and dominated the French movement toward realism. Art critics and the public were accustomed to pretty pictures that made life look better than it was. Courbet, against much opposition, ruthfully portrayed ordinary places and people

Gustave Courbet was born to a prosperous farming family in Ornans, France. He went to Paris in 1841, supposedly to study law, but he soon decided to study painting and learned by copying the pictures of master artists. In 1844 his self-portrait, Courbet with a Black Dog, was accepted by the Salon, an annual public exhibition of art sponsored by the influential Royal Academy

The extensive travel Gustave Courbettook on extensively throughout Europe proved enlightening and strengthened his belief that painters should canvass the life around them, as Rembrandt, Hals, and the others had done.

The following year after the Salon exhibition, Gustave Courbet achieved fame with his paintings, titled "After Dinner at Ornans" and "The Stonebreakers." "Burial at Ornans (1849-50)" was his milestone work of Realism. The painter was often criticized for his uncouth style and gathered a lot of ill fame for his paintings.

"The Origin of the World (L'Origine du monde)" in 1866, where he depicted female genitalia and "Sleep" in 1866, in which two women were featured in bed.

Around 1871 Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet moved to Switzerland to spend the rest of his life in exile. Due to a liver disease, worsened by heavy drinking, Courbet died at the age of 58 on December 31, 1877, in La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland

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