A major influence of realism, leading to Naturalism, and on Impressionism, Courbet was one of those who paved the way for modern art.
From being staffage in landscapes, shepherds and their flocks became motifs in their own right, with the social realist of Millet, even Henri Regnault.
Shepherds and shepherdesses painted in stories, from classical myth, through the Bible and Christ’s nativity, to epic poetry, including Milton’s Paradise Lost.
A fellow-student of Emile Claus, he painted scenes from the Vendée uprising, then took to history painting at the end of the 19th century.
Religious works, including two Nativities and a fine painting of Joseph and Mary walking to Bethlehem, Naturalist and Impressionist styles too.
Brought up in a Stockholm slum rife with cholera, Larsson went on to paint his family life in the idyllic Swedish home. Here’s how he started.
Unlike Impressionism, which spread relatively slowly, Naturalism was prominent in the Salon, so spread across Europe and North America like wildfire.
The very large Paris Salon of 1883 introduced the public and critics to a new and growing movement in painting. It wasn’t Impressionism or Post-Impressionism, though.
Social realism in the stony fields of Denmark, a wonderful view of Jerusalem, and his friend LA Ring facing a passing critic – and more.
Brought up in a poor country family, he trained as a sculptor first, then switched to painting. A selection of his early social realist works, comparable with those of Jules Bastien-Lepage.