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Major movements in Western art > A guide January 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts.

Ancient and Classical, B.C. 15,000 – A.D. 450: This genre includes work from ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. It is usually comprises architecture, frescos, pottery and sculpture. Example: The Parthenon

Medieval and Gothic, A.D. 400: Characterized by ornamental, iconographic religious scenes. Large cathedrals were built at this time and stained glass was introduced. Example: Notre Dame de Paris

Renaissance, 1300s: The term Renaissance literally means ‘rebirth’. It describes the revival of interest in classical artistic achievements. Example: “The Mona Lisa,” Leonardo da Vinci

Baroque, 1600s: A less complex, more realistic style. The return to tradition and spirituality was encouraged by the Catholic Church, the most important patron of the arts at that time. Example: “Girl with the Pearl Earring,” Johannes Vermeer

Romanticism, 1800 – 1880: It is a deeply-felt style which is individualistic, beautiful, exotic, and emotionally wrought. Example: “Liberty Leading the People,” Eugene Delacroix

Symbolism, 1885 – 1910: The erotic, the perverse, death and debauchery were typical subject matter for the symbolists. Example: “The Yellow Christ,” Paul Gauguin

Realism, 1830 – 1870: Typically realistic pieces contain a sociopolitical or moral message. They depict ugly or commonplace subjects. Example: “Arrangement in Gray and Black: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother,” James McNeill Whistler

Impressionism, 1867-1886: The invention of the camera brought about a change in methodology. Artists applied paint in small touches of pure color rather than broader strokes, and painted outside. Example: “Water Lilies,” Claude Monet

Art Nouveau, late 1800s: Characterized by an elaborate style based on asymmetrical lines. Flowers, leaves and tendrils were depicted in the flowing hair of a female. Example: “F Champenois Imprimeur Editeur,” Alphonse Mucha

Modernism, 1890 – 1940: This kind of art requires that the audience to get some facts about the artist, their intentions and their environment, before forming judgments about the work. Example: “The House of the Hanged Man,” Paul Cezanne

Expressionism, 1905 – 1925: The artist attempts to depict not objective reality but the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in him. Example: “The Scream,” Edvard Munch

Cubism, 1908 – 1914: The movement assimilated outside influences, such as African art, as well as new theories on the nature of reality, such as Einstein’s theory of relativity. Example: “Woman with a Guitar,” Pablo Picasso

Surrealism, 1920 – 1930s: A movement dedicated to expressing the imagination as revealed in dreams, free of the conscious control of reason and convention. Example: “The Persistence of Memory,” Salva

Abstract Expressionism, 1940s – 1960s: This movement is characterized by a unique use of brushstrokes and texture, and the embracing of chance and the frequently massive canvases. Example: Jackson Pollack

Pop Art, 1950s – 1960s: In featuring everyday objects such as soup cans, washing powder, comic strips and soda pop bottles, the movement turned commonplace items into icons. Example: “32 Campbell’s Soup Cans,” Andy Warhol

Post-Modernism, 1960 – present: The name given to a wide range of current cultural phenomena. It prefers a more eclectic and populist approach to creativity.

Source: www.artindustri.com



1. aeren - January 14, 2007

I recently wrote an essay “the drama of the modern person” and thought over these lines. i think there are also several recent movements i have noticed: post-urbanism and post-industrialism, as well as neo-symbolism and neo-impressionism :} but, i ma not a professor in cultorology, so this is only my point of view ^_^
oh, i almost forgot! thanks for that post! it gave me more clear view on that issue 🙂

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