The last quarter of the 19th century saw Naturalism become one of the dominant movements in painting. This photographic style transcended national borders, and fanned out throughout all of Europe and the United States. The themes were drawn from daily ‘modern’ life: labourers, farmers, the affluent middle classes; all layers of society served as subjects. Artists tried to approximate reality as closely as possible. This exposition sheds light on the various aspects of Naturalism: its themes, painting practice and the response of critics and the public. More than fifty works, many of which are extremely large, will be on display. The style of painting was particularly detailed, and the works have the appearance of snapshots of real life. Yet the subjects of these paintings were carefully composed and were meant to tell a story, sometimes with a moralistic or political message. The exhibition traces the relationship between several art forms: painting, literature (in particular the important role of Emile Zola), theatre, photography and the early days of the film.