Art Movements (Prehistory-Impressionism)

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The Art Movements and its Transformation

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

Man Holding a Lyre
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 St. Anne
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.

Mannerism (1527–1580)

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.

Baroque (1600–1750)n1gallery

The Baroque period used intense contrast between light and dark, energetic compositions matched by rich color palettes, primarily about drama. Caravaggio and Dutch painter Rembrandt.

Rococo (1699–1780)

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.

Neoclassicism (1750–1850)

Neoclassical artists renewed interest in the classics, influenced by classical elements focusing on idealism with a modern touch. Joseph Mary Vien and Jacques-Louis David.

Romanticism (1780–1850)

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.

The Happy Accident of the Swing
Jean-Honore Fragonard, The Happy Accidents of the Swing, 1767

Realism (1848–1900)

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.

Impressionism (1865–1885)

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-Impressionism (1885–1910)

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

Starry Night, Post Impressionism Art Movement
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.

In conclusion,

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 :

Museum: Metropolitan Museum, MoMA, Guggenheim.

Galleries.Virtual Art Exhibitions to Enjoy from the comfort of your home