The Princess (1911) by
Howard Chandler Christy (1873-1952). Christy was an American artist
and illustrator famous for the "Christy Girl", he published
published in Scribner's and Harper's magazines and in Collier's
Brenn and His Share of
the Spoils (1893) by the French painter Paul Jamin (1853-1903). Jamin
depicts here the Gallic chieftain who sacked Rome probably in 387 BC
in the popular manner of an Orientalistic harem painting. So it's in
the end more the modern French going to a luxury brothel.
They Fell into
Captivity (1885) by the Russian painter Bogdan Pavlovich Willewalde
(1819-1903). Some French prisoners of Napoleon's terrific Grande
Armée are conducted by a single Cossack. The painter contrasts the
superb French uniforms with the simple outfit of the Cossack.
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.