The paper examines the position of realism in the aesthetics and philosophy of art. It analyses the stereotypes in discussions about the possibility of aesthetic realism and points out to some consequences of these for the ontology of a work of art. Further, it shows the position of realism in the ontological theories of an artwork. Various interpretations of Peircean type-token distinction lead to different solutions of the problem of ontology and identity of a work of art. In the final part, the relationship between philosophy and art is reconsidered. The author suggests a new account of realism, which avoids the current debates stereotypes and is suitable for solving philosophical problems concerning art (e.g. normativity of aesthetic judgements, identity of a work of art, art’s cognitive value).