Social Realism

The hospital painting as a sub-genre of social realism reached its peak of popularity in the 1880s and 1890s. Artists of various nationalities found a very effective stepping stone to fame in the depiction of scenes of poverty and illness that echoed the concerns of the well-to-do in relation to recent developments in society, science and culture.

Arturo Michelena - The Sick Child - 1896 - 190 × 200,7 cm - Oil on canvas - Private collection - Photo courtesy Sotheby’s