Art Term

Rural naturalism

Nineteenth century painting movement characterized by scenes of rural life painted in a realist, often sentimentalised, manner

Sir George Clausen, ‘Brown Eyes’ 1891
Sir George Clausen
Brown Eyes 1891
Tate
Henry Herbert La Thangue, ‘The Man with the Scythe’ exhibited 1896
Henry Herbert La Thangue
The Man with the Scythe exhibited 1896
Tate
Edward Stott, ‘Changing Pastures’ 1893
Edward Stott
Changing Pastures 1893
Tate

The tendency to sentimentalism of the rural naturalist artists distinguishes their work from the more gritty realist work of the nineteenth century, as produced by Gustave Courbet and his followers.

In Britain, rural naturalism is exemplified by the Newlyn School painting and the work of artists such as George Clausen, Henry Herbert La Thangue and Edward Stott.