We all have our sensibilities when it comes to visual art. When a new trend is brought to our attention, most of us could ask, “What is that...?” A black dot on a white canvas is interpreted by the “experts” as fine art, specified as “high-brow art.” Those super cultivated and familiar with high-brow art will see the meaning of life in the dot. The others, including myself, will see a blank canvas with a back dot. I asked myself, do we have to feel stupid for not visiting the philosophy and meaning behind the black dot? I decided to educate myself and hope you will follow me on my journey.
Art from 40,000-4,000 B.C;
When writing appeared, civilizations like Mesopotamia, Greece, Egypt, and Rome (among others) developed monarchical societies with sophisticated urbanization; art served to tell stories, decorate utilitarian objects like bowls and weapons, display religious and symbolic themes, and demonstrate social status.
The cave wall paintings depict daily life and visions of the world around them.
Ancient Art from 4,000
Oil Jar with a Man Holding a Lyre
Renaissance Art (1400–1600)
The Middle Ages was referred to as the “Dark Ages”. But it was also a time of great discovery and inventions in science, technology, and mathematics. Religion managed every moment of everyone’s life. Cathedrals flourished as a gateway to heaven, and religious themes adorned their walls and ceilings. Like the Medici of Florence, a great patron of the Arts, Rich Patron was a time of rebirth; the Renaissance was born; Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael focused on realism, human anatomy, and expression.
The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne is an unfinished oil painting by High Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, dated c. 1501–1519. It depicts Saint Anne, her daughter, the Virgin Mary, and the infant.
Renaissance artists and mannerism artists stepped away from the subject matter, focused on style and techniques, and stylized their compositions, removing classical ideals of harmonious codesigned linear perspective. Giorgio Vasari and Francesco Salviati are considered to be among the favorite Mannerism painters in Florence.
The Baroque period used intense contrast between light and dark, energetic compositions matched by rich color palettes, primarily about drama. Caravaggioand Dutch painter Rembrandt.
Rococo originated in Paris; in contrast, Rococo primarily used lighthearted, elegant, carefree compositions using fresh pastel and light colors set in pastoral scenes. Antoine Watteau was a French painter who lived in the 18th century. and Francois Boucher.
Romanticism Amid the French Revolution and the heroic battle of the Napoleonic war emerged passionate artists who painted against the restraint of academic art of establishment. Artists also focused on passion, emotion, and sensation over intellect and reason. “Plein Air Painting” made its debut. Francisco De Goya and Eugene Delacroix.
Jean-Honore Fragonard, The Happy Accidents of the Swing, 1767
Realism began in France in the 1840s. Realism resulted from multiple events: the anti-Romantic movement in Germany; the authenticity rejected the heightened emotionalism and drama of the Romantic movement. Instead, it sought to depict real people and life with all its faults and shortcomings—the focus on non-idealized subjects and events. Gustave Courbet and Edouard Manet.
Art Nouveau (1890–1910)
Artists painted only what they could physically see and applied arts, graphics, and illustration. It focused on the natural world, characterized by long, sinuous lines and curves. Influential Art Nouveau artists worked in a variety of media. Alphonse Mucha and Gustav Klimt.
Impressionist The most famous movement was created by a group of French disenchanted artists rejected by Salon des Beaux-Arts. They created Salon des Refusés to showcase their paintings. These young Artists sought to capture the immediate impression, color, and moment. Impressionist artists find their subjects in everyday life, like ballrooms, seashores, lounges, or fields. This could be the same subject at different times or seasons. Claude Monet, Paul Gaugin, Vincent van Gogh.
Post-Impressionist painters distance themselves from the impressionist by removing all details from the subjects, focusing only on primary, abstract, geometrical forms and broad color strokes to bring forth the essence of the work. Toulouse Lautrec and Paul Cezanne
The Starry Night is an oil-on-canvas painting by the Dutch Post-Impressionist Vincent van Gogh. Painted in June 1889
This is how everything works for Great Art Movements from Prehistoric Art to Impressionism.
Great art movements, from prehistoric art to Impressionism, have every move spurned from the old ones. New crops of artists experiment with new ways of looking at their surroundings and revisit the old masters. What is popular doesn’t mean better; it is just more recognized. I prefer style, but I keep an open mind for newcomers. Visit museums or galleries online or in person and see what is out there; you will be pleasantly surprised.
“What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.” Eugene Delacroix
Suggested Sites for Great Art Movements from Prehistoric Art to Impressionism :
Born in Turkey, Sibel Meydan Johnson lived and studied in Mons Belgium most of her life. She graduated with honors with a major in Liberal Arts.
In 1990 Sibel left her hometown for New York City. She worked for several years as a production assistant for " En Plein Air Masters" one of the first online plein air artists mentor programs then as director of production for Brush With Life TV’s series on visual art.
Today Sibel is an autodidact painter, Freelance writer specializing in art and the business of art. Mother and wife, she is a full-time artist.
Sibel's art captures and brings forth the hidden emotion of his subjects and evoke a sense of curiosity and introspection pushing the boundaries of creativity and expression, her work often combines elements of abstraction and realism, creating a unique and captivating visual experience that sometimes disturb the viewers.