The Art movements are portrayed as a style or way of doing art of art that spans over a period that is subtly or distinctly different from another movement of art. The style or method changes in a different way. These styles are used to describe art practiced by a group of artists within the same period or region. Some art movements that have been influenced by another art movement show evident similarities while others seem to defy their similar ones because of limitations.
The history of art has seen a lot of changes. Numerous styles & movements have occurred throughout the history of art. Changes happen when artists feel burnt out on traditional styles & choose to have a go at something new. An art movement is a period when mainstream art had similar styles, such as the Impressionistic art movement. Some time periods have overlapped as the art world became used to new styles. The historical backdrop of art is immense, the earliest cave paintings pre-date writing by almost 27,000 years. It is interesting to examine the contrast between art movements & to study the various periods of art.
Table of Contents
- Stone Age (30,000 B.C.-3000 B.C.)
- Mesopotamian (3500 B.C.-539 B.C.)
- Egyptian (3100 B.C.-30 B.C.)
- Greek & Hellenistic (850 B.C.-31 B.C.)
- Roman (500 B.C.-476 A.D.)
- Indian, Chinese & Japanese (653 B.C.-1900 A.D.)
- Byzantine & Islamic (476 A.D.-1453 A.D.)
- Middle Ages (500 A.D.-1400 A.D.)
- Early & High Renaissance (1400 -1550)
- Mannerism (1527-1580)
- Baroque (1600 -1750)
- Neoclassical (1750 -1850)
- Romanticism (1780 -1850)
- Realism (1848 -1900)
- Impressionism (1864 -1885)
- Post Impressionism (1885 -1910)
- Fauvism & Expressionism (1900 -1935)
- Cubism, Futurism, Suprematism, Constructivism, De Stijl (1905 -1920)
- Dada & Surrealism (1917 -1950)
- Abstract Expressionism (1940 -1950s) & Pop Art (1960)
Stone Age (30,000 B.C.-3000 B.C.)
The art of the Stone Age represents the principal achievements in the human imagination, preceding the invention of writing. Cavern works of art, fertility goddesses, megalithic structures are some characteristics of the Stone Age & have been divided into three distinct periods: Paleolithic, Mesolithic & Neolithic. This was the first time when humankind started to make solid results of self-articulation that served no function for survival. The diagnostic part of the Paleolithic period appears in two main forms: small sculptures & enormous paintings & engravings on the cave wall. The small sculptures are made of clay, bone, ivory or stone & consist of simple figurines portraying animals & humans. Oldest known Venus figurines are the most indicative of this era.
In Mesolithic era, cavern artistic paintings & portable art such as figurines, statuettes, & beads prevailed, with decorative figured workings also seen on some utilitarian articles. The figurines were carved from soft stone, bone, ivory, or formed of clay & fired. Personal accessories & adornments were made from shells & bone. From the Neolithic period, there is evidence of early pottery, as well as sculpture, architecture, & the construction of megaliths. Early rock art also first appeared in this era.
Mesopotamian (3500 B.C.-539 B.C.)
The ancient art of Mesopotamia incorporates that of Sumerian, Akkad, Babylonia, & Assyria, until the 6th century BCE. The main emphasis was on different, solid forms of sculpture in stone & clay; painting was mainly used for geometrical & plant-based decorative schemes. Mesopotamian Sculptures include a host of ceramic art, varieties of stone sculptures, in the form of statues & reliefs, steles, mosaic art, & monumental architectures. Warrior art & narration in stone relief were some common characteristics.
Egyptian (3100 B.C.-30 B.C.)
All Egyptian art is based on immaculate balance because it reflects the ideal world of God. The same way these divines gave great blessings to mankind, so the artwork was envisioned & created to provide use. Regardless of how beautifully a statue may have been crafted, its purpose was to serve as a home for a spirit or a god. Much of surviving art originates from tombs, pyramids, & monuments, which has given more insight into the Egyptians’ belief of the afterlife. Wall art was not created for individuals to take a gander at however it had a purpose in the afterlife & rituals. Ancient Egyptian art included paintings, sculptures in wood, stone, & ceramics, drawings on papyrus, faience, decorative, ivories, & other art mediums.
Greek & Hellenistic (850 B.C.-31 B.C.)
The art movement of this time period is mostly expressed through sculpture, which was more skillfully rendered in detail, anatomy, articulation, & movement. These were the characteristics commonly found: Greek idealism; balance, perfect proportions; architectural orders: Doric, Ionic, & Corinthian.
Roman (500 B.C.-476 A.D.)
This period was based on Roman realism; practical & down to earth; the arch. Roman sculptors & painters created just a restricted measure of exceptional original fine art, preferring instead to recycle designs from Greek art, which they revered as far superior to their own. Indeed, many types of arts practiced by Romans including sculptures (bronze & marble statuary), fine art painting (murals, portraiture, vase-painting), & decorative art (metalwork, mosaics, jewelry, ivory carving) had already been mastered by Ancient Greek artists. Of course, it is wrong to say that Roman art was devoid of innovation: its urban architecture was ground-breaking, as its landscape painting & portrait busts.
Indian, Chinese & Japanese (653 B.C.-1900 A.D.)
The art movements of the Indian, Chinese & Japanese are all heavily influenced by the culture & the lifestyle of the individuals. Indian art can be classified into specific periods that reflect particular religious, political & cultural developments. Bronze & stone were most commonly used to represent episodes of Buddha’s life & teachings. Rangoli is a form of sandpainting decoration that uses finely ground every type of colored powder. Taj Mahal, known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is one of India’s greatest pieces of architecture & art.
Chinese art is the form of art that has been influenced by great philosophers, teachers, religious figures & political leaders. The early forms of Chinese art include pottery, jade & ritual vessels. Then the material of porcelain was found & introduced to the culture. Under the first Emperor of the Qin dynasty, 7000 life-size tomb terracotta figures of warriors & horses were made. Paintings in the traditional style involved the same technique as calligraphy & are done with a brush dipped in black or colored ink.
Japanese art utilized a wide scope of art styles & media including ancient pottery, sculpture in wood & bronze, ink painting on silk & paper, & perhaps what Japan is famous for in modern-day, manga & cartooning.
Byzantine & Islamic (476 A.D.-1453 A.D.)
The four basic components of Islamic art include Calligraphy, vegetal patterns, geometric patterns, & figural representation. The art style varied within dynasties but tend to all focus on surface embellishment. Islamic architecture can be defined as building traditions of Muslim populations of the Middle East. In the Byzantine period, a building’s interior decoration regularly appeared as mosaic paintings. The mosaics are being gradually uncovered, but only those on the higher gallery levels.
Middle Ages (500 A.D.-1400 A.D.)
Middle age was the era of Celtic & Gothic art, which saw the rise of intricate gothic cathedrals & structures like Notre Dame. It was a dark era, home to the Black Death & the crusades, which was all reflected in the dark, looming, & religious nature of its art. The transition from Romanesque to Gothic is very imprecise & the figures become more animated in pose & facial expression. Celtic art has intricate designs & is abstract, with very precise detailing. During the Carolingian, the renaissance was depicted in many art forms like manuscripts, sculptures, & religious artifacts.
Early & High Renaissance (1400 -1550)
Turning away from the preceding Gothic & Romanesque periods’ iconography, Florentine specialists spurred a rejuvenation of the glories of classical art in line with a more humanistic & individualistic rising contemporary era. Early Renaissance artists started to create work escalated by knowledge of architecture, philosophy, theology, mathematics, science, & design.
The high renaissance is an era when both painting & sculpture implemented the beliefs of classical humanism, & when painterly procedures of linear perspective, shading & other methods of realism were aced. The Renaissance extended northward to France, the Low Countries, Poland, Germany, & England.
Mannerism developed as a style that is portrayed by artificiality & artiness, by complete self-conscious cultivation of elegance & specialized facility, & by a sophisticated extravagance in the bizarre. The Mannerism is an art that defies the rules & artifice over nature.
Baroque (1600 -1750)
The Baroque style is characterized by overstated motion & clear detail used to deliver dramatization, exuberance, & grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance, & music. Baroque iconography was immediate, evident, & dramatic, intending to appeal above all to the senses & the feelings. This art was a weapon in the religious wars.
Neoclassical (1750 -1850)
The Neoclassical architecture depends on the principles of simplicity, symmetry, & arithmetic, which were seen as virtues of the arts in Ancient Greece & Rome. Neoclassical art emerged contrary to the excessive decorative & gaudy styles of Rococo & Baroque that were infusing society with a vanity art culture based on personal conceits & eccentricity.
Romanticism (1780 -1850)
It commended the individual imagination & instincts in the enduring search for individual rights & liberty. Its ideals of the inventive, subjective powers of the artist fueled Avant-garde movements well into the 20th century. Artists began exploring different emotional & psychological states as well as moods. In some countries, Romantic painters turned their attention to nature. Works based on close observation of the landscape & the sky & atmosphere elevated landscape painting to a new, more respectful level.
Realism (1848 -1900)
Conceived in a chaotic period marked by revolution & social change, Realism substituted the idealistic images & literary conceits of traditional art with real-life occasions. Realism is extensively considered the beginning of modern art due to its conviction that everyday life & the modern world were appropriate subjects for art. It was concerned with how life was structured socially, economically, politically & culturally in the mid- 19th century. This led to unflinching, ugly portrayals of life’s unpleasant moments & the use of dark, earthy palettes that confronted high art’s ultimate ideals of beauty.
Impressionism (1864 -1885)
Impressionists expected to be painters of the real- getting away from depictions of idealized forms & immaculate symmetry, but rather focusing on the world through their eyes, imperfect in a myriad of ways. They sought to capture the momentary, sensory effect of a scene- the impression objects made on the eye in a short-lived moment.
Post Impressionism (1885 -1910)
The Post-Impressionism era encloses a wide range of creative art styles that all share the common inspiration of responding to the optimality of the Impressionist movement. Rejecting interest in depicting the observed world, they rather looked to their recollections & emotions to connect with the viewer on a more profound level. Post-Impressionists concentrated on abstract form & pattern in the application of paint to the surface of the canvas.
Fauvism & Expressionism (1900 -1935)
Fauvism & Expressionism were two of the earliest avant-garde art movements, with Fauvism being the earliest. This era of Fauvism greatly influenced German Expressionism, & both are known for their bold colors & techniques. These movements centered on the expression of feeling through intense color. The Fauves worked this through clashing color, distorted forms, alien perspective, rough brushstrokes, & flat linear patterns while the Expressionists took these ideas & worked in violent colors to emotional angst, abstracted their form, & attempted to express modern & contemporary ideas.
Cubism, Futurism, Suprematism, Constructivism, De Stijl (1905 -1920)
These were art experiments of pre- & post- World war I. Cubists works of art overlook the traditions of perspective drawing & show you numerous views regarding a matter at once while Futurist vision glorified industrialization, technology, & transport along with the speed, commotion, & energy of urban life. Suprematism was a geometric style of abstract painting derived from elements of Cubism & Futurism. Constructivism used the same geometric language but abandoned its mystical vision in favor of its ideals. De Stijl was a Dutch style of unadulterated abstraction created by Piet Mondrian.
Dada & Surrealism (1917 -1950)
Universal in scope & diverse in artistic yield, both Dada & Surrealism were aesthetic, literary & intellectual movements of the mid-twentieth century that were instrumental characterizing Modernism. Dadaism sought to show the absurdity of the values & activities of society by developing ludicrousness in its images while Surrealism tried to resolve the previously contradictory state of dream & reality.
Abstract Expressionism (1940 -1950s) & Pop Art (1960)
This was post-World War II art movements that emphasize pure abstraction & expression without forms. Abstract Expressionism focuses on the medium itself & exists without representation of the subject. These paintings do not attempt to capture the reality of the physical world. However, Pop Art typically has a very clear subject in its works. Pop art was a reaction to Abstract Expressionism.
Art movements throughout the history of Western Art have offered a swath of diverse, compelling styles, techniques, & media across the globe. Each movement shed light on distinctive paintings, sculpture, architectural achievements, & other defining works. Understanding the timeline of Art history & how each period has impacted later movements is paramount to building a thoughtful, cohesive collection.
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