Lifelike things look real, but they're not. A lifelike wax figure might look just like Queen Elizabeth, but it's actually a realistic statue.
An artist whose style is described as "realism" probably paints very lifelike scenes, producing paintings that look a lot like photographs. A child's doll might be disturbingly lifelike, made to look like a real live baby. As with many words, this one started life in the seventeenth century with a completely different meaning, "likely to live." The current definition came along about a hundred years later.