1848 - 1900
The understandable reaction to Romanticism sprang to life shortly after the French Revolution. Subjects were depicted as they really appeared in an almost dispassionate, journalistic manner.
Revolutions in America, France, Germany, Hungary, Austria and Italy all pitted common men against aristocracy. The ferment of the dramatic Romantics birthed a new celebration of common everyday life. A mere 50 years after Gainsborough’s aristocratic portraits, Jean-Francois Millet painted, "The Gleaners," a starkly realistic look at peasants working the land. Art traveled the same fast path as history. The Realists were dedicated to showing the world outside Louis XIV’s glittering Versailles by capturing the fervor of Revolution in the streets.