Throughout the ages, seventeenth-century Dutch art has often been referred to as 'a mirror of everyday life' and 'realistic' has become its major label. This research focuses on the term 'realism' in relation to seventeenth-century Dutch genre paintings and examines various theories relating to this topic. How have recent art historians strived to explain the concept of 'realism' in relation to genre paintings, and where have they located this 'realism' in the paintings themselves? The author looks at four possible locations for 'realism', namely; subject matter, style, technique and artistic mode. In order to examine the validity of various theories and locations, they will be applied to two paintings; Gerard ter Borch's 'Gallant Conversation' (1655) and Pieter de Hooch's 'Interior with Women beside a Linen Chest' (1663). This book is accessible to anyone interested in Dutch Art from the Golden Age, but is especially relevant to those trying to understand the concept of 'realism' in seventeenth century Dutch art.