The following presentation is based on a comparative study of the artistic movements of Realism and Romanticism in early 19th century Europe. The object is to analyze how each movement affected politics and social hierarchy. The movements are linked to other genres; Romanticism is coupled with Classicism, and Realism is associated with Idealism. This presentation identifies how both movements faced criticism due to a conservatism of mass taste and a shock of subject matter. Despite the obstacles, the movements prevailed to be considered innovative in context and style. The most compelling arguments found within the current scholarship outlines the opposition that the artists faced from an emerging middle class, and the new and creative forms of methodology employed. The introduction will serve as historical background for the visual composition and political beliefs of the era. The essence of this research is to explain how the movements were a catalyst for social change.