Before the Punishment by the Hungarian painter Franz Eisenhut (1857-1903). Eisenhut is considered one of Austria-Hungary's greatest academic painters in the second half of the 19th century an specialized in Orientalist subjects. Here he did a really spectacular piece. Two disobedient harem slaves are awaiting their punishment stretching their erotic bodies for all the onlookers of the painting.
The Portrait of a Sergeant (1874) by the French military painter Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier (1815–1891). Apart from the fact that it is a very well done painting it is full of small "unheroic" details normally not worth to be noticed by a military painter.
Before the Joust by the Italian painter Cesare Auguste Detti (1847-1914). As historical genre painter Detti specialized more in scenes settled in the 17th or 18th century, but here he was attracted by a medieval subject. The result is a genre painting anyway.
The execution of Matija Gubec in front of St. Mark's Church in Zagreb (1905) by the Croatian painter Oton Iveković (1869-1939). Matija Gubec was a leader of the Croatian-Slovenian peasant revolt 1573 and became later a symbol for the indepence movement in Croatia.
Captured (1938) by the great Australian artist Norman Lindsay (1879-1969). Lindsay who is probably best known for his erotic artwork shows here a bunch of pirates with their prisoners: two voluptous women who didn't look afraid at all. History serves here more as a costume.
History painting dates back to the Renaissance and was long considered to be the "grand genre". Nevertheless it has its peak in the 19th century forged by Neoclassicism and Romanticism. There it became the artistic contribution in the process of the construction of National Identities of the European and American nations.
At the same time history painting under the influence of historism pretended to be "realistic", to show history how it has been. Above all it was this pretension that led to the great failure of History painting AND Realism at the end of the century.
When artists and their public realized that telling history always will be subjective and a painting will always be an illusion Realism and history painting lost their ground to modern painting.