"Every age projects its own images into its art."           The artistic movement of Realism took place from 1850-1880. Moving away from Romanticism which was classified by its emotional depth and contrast to neo-classicism, Realism focused on the portrayal of social problems of the day. Artists during this period used their work to express what they saw as the downfalls of their day. The art is real and at times harsh, telling the truth rather than portraying everything through rose-colored glasses. Realism places value on fact, which came through in the style of the artists and techniques that were used. This period was influenced by movements of the day such as positivism and realpolitik, advancements which were made in the fields of social sciences and political strategy. This wide range of influence also led to a large Realism movement in literature as well. Some of the most well known authors that are associated with this period are Balzac, Dickens, and Baudelaire. 

Gleaners by Millet is a great example of the subject that was popular among Realist painters. This piece shows peasants hard at work in the fields. The muted color scheme portrays their work exactly, without make it seem more glamorous than it was. True to the name, artists pictured their subjects as they were, poor and hard at work.
This painting shows a scene of peasants hard at work. The light wash of color suggests that their hard work is beginning at dawn. This picture does more to give the workers dignity and give the sense that the peasants are doing an important job. The donkey in the back can be interpreted as a possible biblical allusion being made with the picture.
This piece is yet another great example of the harsh realism of realist painters. As Millet was born on a farm himself, he could bring an accurate perspective to his artwork. The shading he uses in the picture creates a unique mood and conveys his message successfully to the observer.
This piece is interesting because of the medium that Millet used to create it. The drawing shows the simplicity but depth of motherhood. He doesn't imagine a perfect world like the romantics did, but understood that situations in life were sometimes not optimal. This comes through not only by the mother standing over and caring for her children., but the name of the piece which implies loneliness.
This painting is known as Courbet's first monumental work. His color palette adds depth to the painting and the depiction of the subjects with great detail allows us to come to conclusions about the state that they're in. This piece stood out from the traditional subject matter in that it had a more "noble genre" with the religious ties and luxurious style.
This work is a great example of why Courbet was known as a master of capturing sensuality in his subjects. The gypsy in this painting is clothed, but the atmosphere Courbet creates with the expression on her face, her pose, and the color scheme is very interesting. The condition of the woman is making a statement on Courbet's thoughts about this social group.
This piece is one of many landscapes created by Courbet. It depicts a serene image of a mill that is the definition of solitude. A place such as this would have been a welcomed escape from the turmoil at the time. This painting does not show the traditional every day peasant people, but a more pleasant place.
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