“In a broad sense, the term may refer to a type of art, such as landscape or portraiture, within the general category of painting; in a specialized sense, it refers to the portrayal of scenes from unidealized daily life: domestic and tavern scenes, musicales, Fetes champetres, etc. The term applies especially to painting. Genre scenes can be the entire subject or just a detail in a nongenre picture. Explored as a distinct type of Baroque painting in the Low Countries.”
Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.