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Art History

Art History

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Published by cik rina

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Published by: cik rina on Mar 10, 2011
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Art history1. LEARN ABOUT EARLY ART PERIODS
Some people get PhDs in Art History; we're perfectly content tomerely have you scam your way through centuries of artistry. Sobelow, we provide you with the characteristics of the basic artperiods. We warn you -- there's
A LOT
here. So feel free to skim orskip around. But don't forget to go to step 2 when you're done.
ANTIQUITIES
:
before 500 years B.C.
This refers to stuff that's so old, that it's usually appreciated morefor its archeological value rather than its artistic expression.
Dead giveaways
: Everything's broken and half gone. What's lefthas been pieced back together withKrazy Glue.
Pretentious comment to say
: "Imagine theHerculean taskof thesculptor-carving the hardest of rocks, in the hottest of climates,with the simplest of tools."
GREEKS AND ROMANS
:
500 B.C. to 500 A.D.
These cultures appreciated the ideal: men looking beautiful andachieving great feats. The art of this period is particularly importantbecause most of the ideals of Western civilization came from theseartistic portrayals. They also carved a lot of naked marble statues,many of which are missing arms and/or heads.
Dead giveaways
: Missing Noses and other protrusions. Usually,the statues are made of white marble, while vases are black.
Pretentious comment to say
: "Note how the sculptor drawsattention to his virtuosity by holding back. That is what classicmeans."
MEDIEVAL
:
500 to 1500
Medieval art can seem even more primitive than its predecessors;it's as if they were starting over from scratch (and in a sense theywere, what with the Black Plague and all). Most of the stuff is
religious
, and that should factor into your (faked) appreciation.These relics were not just meant to be beautiful -- To the people of the Middle Ages, they held sacred power. Many of the artistic worksof this period were created purely for religious purposes.
 
Dead giveaways
: On the little placard next to the painting, lookfor "egg tempera on panel" in the media category and "Madonna" inthe title. A flat, 2-dimensional perspective also abounded in thisperiod.
Pretentious comment to say
: "Images of Hell gave the usuallyreserved monk-like artists an opportunity to explore theirsubconscious fears."
RENAISSANCE
:
1400 to 1520
The Renaissance was like the All-Star game of art history. Duringthe Renaissance (literally meaning "rebirth," as in the rebirth of Greek and Roman artistic sensibilities), Europe experienced acultural boom and great value was placed on art. As a result, alarge number of extraordinary artists all appeared at once(especially in Italy) and produced revolutionary works of art. Four of the most famous artists of this period were
Da Vinci
,
Michelangelo
,
Donatello
and
Raphael
.
Dead giveaways
: People in robes and halos gesturing. Othercharacteristics include a rich 3-D perspective, human subjects inproportion, and the believable representation of spaces. It wasduring this period when artists tried to mimic reality as closely aspossible.
Pretentious comment to say
: "Note how the perspective is morean
allusion to
space than an
illusion of 
space."
BAROQUE
:
1600 to 1725 
The Baroque period carried on the Renaissance forms but added aheavily melodramatic flair. The result? Baroque art, with its fatcherubs and gilded frippery. Landscapes and still lifes also sproutedin this period, giving motels around the world something to hangover their double beds. Look for works by
Caravaggio
and
Bernini
in Italy and
Rembrandt
,
Hals
and
Vermeer
in Holland.
Dead giveaways
: Fat women, light rays and fruit bowls.
Pretentious comment to say
: "The way the bountiful figures spillover from darkness into light is so typical of the Baroque style."
NEOCLASSICAL
:
1700 to 1800
During the Neoclassical period, the work of the Greeks and Romansbecame hip again, but Neoclassicism took a more romantic look atclassical subjects. Melodramatic paintings of historical subjects are
 
in vogue and robes are back in fashion. If you need to namedrop,casually mention
Jacques Louis David
(pronounced Jock Loo-weeDa-VEED).
Dead giveaways
: armor, spears and sandals.
Pretentious comment to say
: "I'm blown away by the precisionof the composition, the accuracy of the costumes and theexpressiveness of the gestures."
REALISM
:
1800 to 1880
Realism was a movement started
Gustave Courbet
(Goo-stov Cor-BAY), and it refers to the
subject
of the pictures, not the style.Realists preferred to paint images of thing that they could see,reacting against those who painted imaginary or idealized stuff.
Dead giveaways
: a big red signature that says "Courbet."
Pretentious comment to say
: "His journalistic approach toreproducing the facts of the real world gives me chills."
2. LEARN ABOUT MODERN ART PERIODS
The last two centuries have seen an exhilarating march of overlapping and blending movements. Don't worry too much aboutit; just realize that art that does not attempt directly reflect realityis usually considered to be "modern." The art movements below areall factions of modern art.
MODERN ART
:
1800 - present 
Modern Art entered around 1800, a century before Picasso and hisbuddies made it famous again. While traditional portrait paintingwas still being cranked out by the acre, there was a growingmovement of artists who wanted to rebel against the stage-y artthat people were hanging over their living room sofas. What makesa work "modern" is its purposeful breaking of the traditions of thepast; those who broke the rules got the headlines. Modern art doesnot necessarily represent concrete objects (be it real, like a person,or imaginary, like a unicorn), but rather revels in its weirdness.
Dead giveaways
: the tourists around you are squinting andasking, "What is it?"
Pretentious comment to say
: "It
is
art."

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