WEEK THREE, ART 101- ART APPRECIATION / Summer 2008
AN OUTLINE OF WESTERN ART HISTORY
Art History is a specialized ﬁeld of its own, and takes many years of study and practice to be considered competent in it. There are many separate courses in Art History at the undergraduate and graduate levels. This document is only the barest outline indicating the major art movements in western painting; the other visual arts such as sculpture, often are synchronous with the developments in painting. PREHISTORIC The history of painting reaches back in time to artifacts from pre-historic humans, and spans all cultures. The oldest known paintings are at the Grotte Chauvet in France, claimed by some historians to be about 32,000 years old; other famous examples come from Altamira in Spain and Lascaux in France. They are engraved and painted using red ochre and black pigment and show horses, rhinoceros, lions, buffalo, mammoth, or humans often hunting. There are examples of cave paintings all over the world—in France, India, Spain, Portugal, China, Australia etc. No one is sure what these paintings had to the people who made them, but ideas include hunting magic, a depiction of hunting and religious experiences. Examples Cave paintings of the CroMagnon; this example is from Lascaux in France (about 16,000 years old)
Venus of Willendorf (Austria, limestone carving, about 24,000 to 26,000 years old)
Stonehenge (England, constructed in several stages, 80001600 BC)
ANTIQUITY: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome Ancient Egypt, a civilization with strong traditions of architecture and sculpture (both originally painted in bright colors), had many mural paintings in temples and buildings, and painted illustrations on papyrus manuscripts. Egyptian wall painting and decorative painting is often graphic, sometimes more symbolic than realistic. Egyptian painting depicts ﬁgures in bold outline and ﬂat silhouette, in which symmetry is a constant characteristic. Egyptian painting has close connection with its written language called Egyptian hieroglyphs. Painted symbols are found amongst the ﬁrst forms of written language. The Egyptians also painted on linen, remnants of which survive today. Ancient Egyptian paintings survived due to the extremely dry climate. The ancient Egyptians created paintings to make the afterlife of the deceased a pleasant place. The themes included journey through the afterworld or their protective deities introducing the deceased to the gods of the underworld. Some examples of such paintings are paintings of the gods and goddesses Ra, Horus, Anubis, Nut, Osiris and Isis. Some tomb paintings show activities that the deceased were involved in when they were alive and wished to carry on doing for eternity. In the New Kingdom and later, the Book of the Dead was buried with the entombed person. It was considered important for an introduction to the afterlife. To the north of Egypt was the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete. The wall paintings found in the palace of Knossos are similar to those of the Egyptians but much more free in style. Around 1100 B.C., tribes from the north of Greece conquered Greece and its art took a new direction. The culture of Ancient Greece is noteworthy for its outstanding contributions to the visual arts. Painting on pottery of Ancient Greece and ceramics gives a particularly informative glimpse into the way society in Ancient Greece functioned. Many ﬁne examples of Black-ﬁgure vase painting and Red-ﬁgure vase painting still exist. Some famous Greek painters who worked on wood panels and are mentioned in texts are Apelles, Zeuxis and Parrhasius; however, with the single exception of the Pitsa panels, no examples of Ancient Greek panel painting survive, only written descriptions by their contemporaries or later Romans. Zeuxis lived in the 5th century BC and was said to be the ﬁrst to use sfumato. According to Pliny the Elder, the realism of his paintings was such that birds tried to eat the painted grapes. Apelles is described as the
greatest painter of Antiquity, and is noted for perfect technique in drawing, brilliant color, and modeling. Roman art was inﬂuenced by Greece and can in part be taken as descendant from Ancient Greek painting. Roman paintings contain the ﬁrst examples of trompe-l'oeil, pseudo-perspective, and pure landscape. Realistic portraits were found at the Late Antique cemetery of Al-Faiyum. Examples
Egypt: King Tutʼs Golden Mask (King Tut, 1333-1324 BC)
Mesopotamia: Assyrian Winged Bull (c. 713-716 BC)
Crete: Minoan Snake Goddess (c. 1600 BC)
Greece: The Parthenon and its Sculptures (Elgin marbles) (c. 430 BC)
Greece: The Winged Victory of Samothrace (c. 220-190 BC)
Greece: The Death of Laocoøn and his Sons (160-20 BC)
Rome: Al-Faiyum, Portrait of a man (c. 125-150 AD)
MEDIEVAL PERIOD (MIDDLE AGES) (400-1500) The focus for art of the medieval period was the Christian religion, that of the Roman Catholic and Byzantine (Orthodox) faiths; the various Protestant faiths would begin much later, in the 1500s. After the decline of the western Roman Empire in the 400s, there was the simultaneous rise of medieval Christianity in the 500s. While the western portion of the Roman Empire declined with the rise of the barbarians, the eastern center of the Roman Empire in Byzantine Constantinople, Turkey, would remain intact, until the rise of Islam conquered it. In western Europe under the Roman Catholics, the ﬁrst distinctive artistic style to emerge that included painting was the art of the British Isles, where the only surviving examples are miniatures in illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells; on mainland Europe, Carolingian and Ottonian art also survives. These are most famous for their abstract decoration, although ﬁgures of saints, and sometimes scenes, were also depicted. The art of this period combines insular and "barbarian" inﬂuences with a
within the Byzantine tradition. placed great emphasis on retaining traditional iconography and style. and combine the decorative energy of Insular art with a new monumentality in the treatment of ﬁgures. Far more miniatures in Illuminated manuscripts survive from the period. AD 500600)
. in its ﬂatness and highly stylized depictions of ﬁgures and landscape. Examples
Byzantine: Icon of Christ Pantocrator (“Christ. took these innovations to a higher level which in turn set the foundations for the western painting tradition in the Renaissance. Medieval art and Gothic painting became more realistic. They are considered to be the two great medieval masters of painting in western culture. This style soon became known as the International style and tempera panel paintings and altarpieces gained importance. with the beginnings of interest in the depiction of volume and perspective in Italy with Cimabue and then his pupil Giotto. Churches were built with more and more windows and the use of colorful stained glass become a staple in decoration in cathedrals. Byzantine painting has a particularly hieratic feeling and icons were and still are seen as a reﬂection of the divine. Giotto. the walls of Romanesque and Gothic churches were decorated with frescoes as well as sculpture and many of the few remaining murals have great intensity. used a more realistic and dramatic approach to his art. Illuminated manuscripts took on a new character and slim. showing the same characteristics. By the 14th century Western societies were both richer and more cultivated and painters found new patrons in the nobility and even the bourgeoisie. Ruler of All”) (c. and has changed relatively little through the thousand years of the Byzantine Empire and the continuing traditions of Greek and Russian Orthodox icon-painting up to today. His pupil. once its style was established by the 6th century. Towards the middle of the 13th century. Byzantine art. Cimabue. In general Byzantium art borders on abstraction. In western Europe of the medieval period.strong Byzantine inﬂuence and an aspiration to recover classical monumentality and poise. fashionably dressed court women were shown in their landscapes. which continue into the Gothic period.
Foy.Insular: Lindisfarne Gospels (c. AD 650-750)
Insular: Book of Kells (c. AD 1000-1100)
Romanesque: Verdun Altar (c. AD 1100)
. Conques. AD 800)
Romanesque: Church of St. France (c.
Giotto: Scrovegni or Arena Chapel.Gothic: Chartres Cathedral (c. AD 1200)
Gothic: Unicorn Tapestries (AD 1495-1505)
International Style: Tres Riches Heures (“The Very Rich Hours”) (c. “Lamentation” (AD 13051306)
the northerners retained a stylistic residue of the sculpture and illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages. Leonardo Da Vinci. The adoption of oil painting whose invention was traditionally. Following centuries dominated by religious imagery. painting gained independence from architecture. the study of human anatomy and proportion. Artists included visions of the world around them. In Italy artists like Paolo Uccello. as well as advances in science which profoundly inﬂuenced European intellectual and artistic life. Botticelli. Masaccio. Bellini and Titian took painting to a higher level through the use of perspective. but erroneously. The northern Flemish. rather than paintings afﬁxed to permanent structures. made possible a new verisimilitude in depicting reality. Those who could afford the expense could become patrons and commission portraits of themselves or their family. Giorgione. Fra Angelico. Dürer. Dutch and German painters of the Renaissance such as Hans Holbein the Younger. Raphael. states that painters are not mere artisans but thinkers as well.RENAISSANCE (1400-1600) The Renaissance (French for 'rebirth'). Examples
Masaccio. heralded the study of classical sources. Grünewald. geography) that occurred in this period. secular subject matter slowly returned to Western painting. whose work drew heavily from the art of Ancient Greece and Rome. Unlike the Italians. In the 16th century. one that is more realistic and less idealized. credited to Van Eyck. Renaissance painting reﬂects the revolution of ideas and science (astronomy. Andrea Mantegna. Filippo Lippi. and Brueghel represent a different approach from their southern Italian colleagues. Bosch. Lucas Cranach. movable pictures which could be hung easily on walls. With the development of easel painting in the Renaissance. the Reformation. and through their development of an unprecedented reﬁnement in drawing and painting techniques. Michelangelo. considered one of the greatest of printmakers. “Expulsion of Adam and Eve” (1425-1480)
. (an important transitional ﬁgure who bridges painting in the Middle Ages with painting of the early Renaissance). Piero della Francesca. came into popular demand . and the invention of the printing press. Tintoretto. a cultural movement roughly spanning the 14th through the mid 17th century. Dürer. or the products of their own imaginations in their paintings.
“Gates of Paradise” (Florentine Baptistery) (1404-1424)
della Francesca. “The Birth of Venus” (c. 1482-1486)
Botticelli. Ceiling Oculus (c. 1470)
Mantegna.Ghiberti. “The Flagellation of Christ” (c.
Palazzo Chiericati (c. 1503-1506)
“Tempest” (c.Leonardo de Vinci. 1508)
. “Mona Lisa” (c. 1550-1680)
Giorgione. “School of Athens” (c. 15091510)
“Mérode Altarpiece” (c. “David” (1504)
Campin.Titian. “Rape of Europa” (1562)
Michaelangelo. “The Marriage of Giovanni Arnolﬁni and Giovanna Cenami” (1434)
“Descent from the Cross” (c. “The Garden of Earthly Delights” (c.van der Weyden. “The Tower of Babel” (1563)
Hans Holbein the Younger. 1505-1515) (detail shown)
Breughel the Elder. 1435)
Bosch. “Portrait of Sir Thomas More” (1527)
the Mannerists sought instability. “The Isenheim Altarpiece” (c. and doubt. Mannerism is a period of European painting. Mannerism is notable for its intellectual sophistication as well as its artiﬁcial (as opposed to naturalistic) qualities. artiﬁce. architecture and decorative arts lasting from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520 until the arrival of the Baroque around 1600. The deﬁnition of Mannerism. and the phases within it. sculpture.Mathias Grünewald. 1510-1515)
Albrecht Dürer. In place of the balanced compositions and rational approach to perspective that characterized art at the dawn of the sixteenth century. “Self-Portrait” (1500)
MANNERISM (1520-1600) The High Renaissance gave rise to a stylized art known as Mannerism. Examples Pontormo
“The Deposition from the Cross” (1528)
. continue to be the subject of debate among art historians. The unperturbed faces and gestures of Piero della Francesca and the calm Virgins of Raphael are replaced by the troubled expressions of Pontormo and the emotional intensity of El Greco.
“The Feast in the House of Levi” (1573)
Tintoretto. “Paradise” (1587-1590)
. “Madonna with the Long Neck” (1534-40)
Veronese.Bronzino. “Eleanor of Toledo” (1544-45)
El Greco. “Perseus with the Head of Medusa” (1545-1554)
. “Burial of the Count of Orgaz” (1586-1588)
Fiorentino. “Deposition” (1521)
later.BAROQUE (1600-1750) During the period beginning around 1600 and continuing throughout the 17th century. portraits or history paintings. “Saint Theresa in Ecstasy” (1647-1652)
. performed. and Bach.The Flemish painter Antony Van Dyck developed a graceful but imposing portrait style that was very inﬂuential. being widely studied. Large numbers of painters specialized in certain genres: scenes. Baroque music forms a major portion of the classical music canon. the name came to be applied also to its music. His realistic approach to the human ﬁgure. landscapes. Matthew” (1599-1600)
Bernini. especially in England. this can be seen in works by Rembrandt and Vermeer. Caravaggio is an heir of the humanist painting of the High Renaissance. shocked his contemporaries and opened a new chapter in the history of painting. Velazquez. Rubens. Among the greatest painters of the Baroque are Caravaggio. Rembrandt. a repertoire of subjects that was very inﬂuential until the arrival of Modernism. and Vermeer. Handel. still-lifes. The original meaning of "baroque" is "irregular pearl". a strikingly ﬁtting characterization of the architecture of this period. Vivaldi. Baroque music describes an era and a set of styles of European classical music which were in widespread use between approximately 1600 and 1750. Poussin. and listened to. Examples Caravaggio. painting is characterized as Baroque. It is associated with composers such as Monteverdi. This era is said to begin in music after the Renaissance and was followed by the Classical music era. painted directly from life and dramatically spotlit against a dark background. “The Calling of St. Baroque painting often dramatizes scenes using chiaroscuro light effects.
“Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor)” (1656)
Rembrandt. “Girl With a Pearl Earring” (c.Peter Paul Rubens. “Return of the Prodigal Son” (1662)
. “Adoration of the Magi” (1624)
“King Charles I” (c.Pierre Puget. 1635)
. “Milo of Crotona” (1672-82)
Nicholas Poussin. “The Triumph of Pan” (1636)
van Dyck (or Van Dyke).
and wall paintings. between Baroque and Classical. ornamental mirrors. Rococo followed as a lighter extension of Baroque.ROCOCO (1715-1785) During the 18th century. It can be characterized as intimate music with extremely reﬁned decoration forms. small sculptures. often frivolous and erotic. Exemplars include Rameau and Daquin. “The Breakfast” (1739)
“The Swing” (1767) . Rococo style rooms were designed as total works of art with elegant and ornate furniture. including Boucher and Fragonard. too. The Galante Style was the equivalent of Rococo in music history. but especially in England. where the leaders were William Hogarth in a blunt realist style.
. and tapestry complementing architecture. Portraiture was an important component of painting in all countries. Jean-Antoine Watteau is generally considered the ﬁrst great Rococo painter. Rococo is also a style of 18th century French art and interior design. It was largely supplanted by the Neoclassic style. He had a great inﬂuence on later painters. particularly in France. “Pilgrimage to Cythera” (1721)
Boucher. and Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds in more ﬂattering styles inﬂuenced by Van Dyck. reliefs. The rococo music style itself developed out of baroque music. two masters of the late period. and it is not easy to deﬁne in words. Examples Watteau.
Falconet. “The Rakeʼs Progress” (1735)
Gainsborough. “The Blue Boy” (1770)
Chippendale. Ribbonback chairs (c. 1750)
. “Menacing Cupid” (1750s)
order. but none of the spontaneity. a prime example is Jacques Louis David whose paintings often use Greek elements to extol the French Revolution's virtues (state before family). but neoclassicism serious.C. 16th century Renaissance Classicism. the Englishman John Flaxman and the Dane Bertel Thorvaldsen. These movements were dominant during the mid 18th to the end of the 19th century. in architecture. gave a new impetus to neoclassicism that is called the Greek Revival. and architecture that draw upon Western classical art and culture (usually that of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome). Ingres' work already contains much of the sensuality. music. against which the heroic ﬁgures are disposed as in a frieze. and then in painting severe neo-classicism. art of frecnh revolution and naziism. and as a desire to return to the perceived "purity" of the arts of Rome. Many of the buildings in Washington. moral commitment. The high tide of neoclassicism in painting is exempliﬁed in early paintings by Jacques-Louis David and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres' entire career.stiff artistic conservatism Neoclassicism is the name given to quite distinct movements in the decorative and visual arts. best represented by such artists as David and Ingres. Rococo frivolous and superﬁcial. In sculpture. they have sharp colors with Chiaroscuro. to a lesser extent. educational.. the more vague perception ("ideal") of Ancient Greek arts (where almost no western artist had actually been) and. David's “Oath of the Horatii” was painted in Rome and made a splash at the Paris Salon of 1785. Contrasting with the Baroque and the Rococo. D. made more emphatic by the dim arcade behind.spread knowledge and enlightenment. From about 1800 a fresh inﬂux of Greek architectural examples. seen through the medium of etchings and engravings. In the case of Neo-classicism in France. theatre. In the visual arts the European movement called "neoclassicism" began after 1765. that was to characterize Romanticism. literature. Neo-classical paintings are devoid of pastel colors and haziness.NEOCLASSICISM (1765-1900. as a reaction against both the surviving Baroque and Rococo styles. are neoclassical Greek Re-
. with a hint of the artiﬁcial lighting and staging of opera. the most familiar representatives are the Italian Antonio Canova. Its central perspective is perpendicular to the picture plane. revivals continue to the present) After Rococo there arose in the late 18th century. instead. and the classical coloring of Nicholas Poussin.
“Apotheosis of Homer” (1827)
. “Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix" (1805-1808)
Canova. ca 1880-1917. and the American Museum of Natural History's Roosevelt Memorial. The Montana State Capitol. is usually now classed under the umbrella term of "traditional architecture. the National Gallery in Washington. are still being built in neoclassical style today. D.” Examples David. Wedgewood blue plate (c. is derived from Greek neoclassical architecture. neoclassicism was one expression of the American Renaissance movement.C.vival in style. The last manifestation of neoclassical inﬂuence was in Beaux-Arts architecture. and its very last. constructed of Montana sandstone and granite. large public projects were the Lincoln Memorial. and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In some rare cases buildings in the United States. “Oath of the Horatii” (1784) (see above)
Wedgewood. In American architecture..
“Paul Revere” (1770)
Stuart “George Washington” (1796. and gained strength during the Industrial Revolution. and the awe experienced in confronting the sublimity in untamed nature and its qualities that are "picturesque". literary. Romanticism elevated emotion and intuition to an equal status with reason. and that the individual and subjectivity are vital. and literature. and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Western Europe. It was partly a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientiﬁc rationalization of nature. The movement stressed strong emotion as a source of aesthetic experience. unﬁnished)
ROMANTICISM (1790-1900. This movement turned its attention toward landscape and nature as well as the human ﬁgure and the supremacy of natural order above mankind's will. There is a pantheist philosophy within this conception that opposes Enlightenment ideals by seeing mankind's destiny in a more tragic or pessimistic light. and was embodied most strongly in the visual arts. shipwrecks. ruined churches. Romanticism is a complex artistic. actually continues today) Romanticism was in opposition to neoclassicism. This thinking led romantic artists to depict the sublime. placing new emphasis on such emotions as trepidation. massacres and madness. The idea that human beings are not above the forces of Nature is in contradiction to Ancient Greek and Renaissance ideals where mankind was above all things and owned his fate. music.Copley. horror. it held that some experiences are beyond the rational mind. both
along with Millet. Wagner. In visual art and literature. as does the paintings of Eugène Boudin who was one of the ﬁrst French landscape painters to paint outdoors. a motive largely dependent on the ambiguity of the nocturne could be seen in the work of Ralph Blakelock. Romantic painters turned landscape painting into a major genre. the heroic isolation of the artist or narrator. Schubert. Painters like Thomas Cole. Albert Bierstadt. as well as arguing for a "natural" epistemology of human activities as conditioned by nature in the form of language. and the landscapes and seascapes of Winslow Homer. his work preﬁgures Impressionism. At the same time in America at the turn of the century there existed a native and nearly insular realism. Berlioz. and respect for a new. Boudin was also an important inﬂuence on the young Claude Monet. W. Turner and John Constable are also generally associated with Romanticism. most especially in the exaltation of untamed America. The visionary landscape. The poet and painter William Blake is the most extreme example of the Romantic sensibility in Britain. Paganini. epitomized by his claim “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's. Corot is a pivotal ﬁgure in landscape painting: His work simultaneously references the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipates the plein-air innovations of Impressionism. Frederic Edwin Church and Thomas Moran often combined a sense of the sublime with underlying religious and philosophical themes. the cult of "sensibility" with its emphasis on women and children.new aesthetic categories. Liszt.
. several romantic authors. like the portrait and landscape painter John Singer Sargent and the paintings of Aesthetic movement artist James McNeill Whistler. is found in the paintings of the Hudson River School. Schumann. The painters J. Géricault. Romanticism found recurrent themes in the evocation or criticism of the past. Some of the major painters of this period are Delacroix. based their writings on the supernatural/occult and human psychology. Francisco de Goya's late work demonstrates the Romantic interest in the irrational. all of whose paintings were deeply invested in the solidity of natural forms. the Ashcan School.” Blake's artistic work is also strongly inﬂuenced by Medieval illuminated books. custom and usage. M. Romantic period in music is typiﬁed by the works of Beethoven. such as Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Barbizon School painters were part of a movement towards realism in art which arose in the context of the dominant Romantic Movement of the time. It also exerted inﬂuence on painters who were not primarily impressionistic in theory. Corot was the leading painter of the Barbizon school of France in the mid-nineteenth century. Chopin. It elevated folk art and custom. as richly embodied in the ﬁgurative work of Thomas Eakins. whom in 1857 he introduced to Plein air painting. Mendelssohn. Romanticism in American visual arts. wilder. considered until then as a minor genre or as a decorative background for ﬁgure compositions. and Turner.The leading Barbizon School painter Camille Corot painted in both a romantic and a realistic vein. untrammeled and "pure" nature. A major force in the turn towards Realism at mid-century was Gustave Courbet. Furthermore.
Blake. “Raft of the Medusa” (1819)
. “The ﬁghting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up” (1839)
“Liberty Leading the People” (1830)
Géricault. “The Ancient of Days (God as an Architect)” (1794)
“The Third of May. “The View from Mount Holyoke” or “The Oxbow” (1836)
Church. “Heart of the Andes” (1859)
Bierstadt. 1808” (1814)
Cole. “Storm in the Rocky Mountains” (1886)
Corot. “Villa DʼAvray” (1867)
Millet.Moran. “The Gleaners” (1857)
. “Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone” (1872)
“Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artistʼs Mother.” better known as “Whistlerʼs Mother” (1871)
Eakins. “Bathers on the Beach at Trouville” (1869)
Whistler. “The Herring Net” (1885)
. “The Gross Clinic” (1876)
and the impact of science and color theory. and Monet. Camille Pissarro. In 1863. which focused on realism. “Christinaʼs World” (1948)
IMPRESSIONISM Impressionism is possibly the most popular painting style of most people in the 20th century. “Impression. Manet. along with Plein-air techniques (painting outdoors instead of studio). Impressionism came into being alongside photography. inspiration from Japanese prints. and a feeling of rebellion. soleil levant) (Left).
. Sunrise” (Impression. romanticism. “Self Portrait” (1906)
Wyeth. In the latter third of the century Impressionists like Édouard Manet. Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Claude Monet. Poetry of the land and mankind was the classic subject matter of Impressionism. the Academy refused to exhibit paintings by maverick artists like Courbet. The name of the movement is derived from the title of a Claude Monet work. and neoclassicism. which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satiric review published in Le Charivari. who went on to create an exhibition of their own that year.Sargent. It really was born as a reaction to the power of the French Academy.
the inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience. Degas.Alfred Sisley. They eschewed allegory and narrative in favor of individualized responses to the modern world. with Renoir focusing on the female nude. Examples
Manet. arabesque. ordinary subject matter. emphasis on light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time). Renoir. Pissarro. “Luncheon of the Boating Party” (18801881)
. and Sisley used the landscape as their primary motif. Mary Cassatt. open composition. Characteristics of Impressionist painting include visible brush strokes. Morisot. and often explored uncommon scales such as the whole tone scale. “A Bar at the Folies-Bergere” (1882)
Renoir. relying on deftness of drawing and a highly chromatic pallette. in Manet's case the re-imaginings met with hostile public reception. sometimes painted with little or no preparatory study. Musical Impressionism is the name given to a movement in European classical music that arose in the late 19th century and continued into the middle of the 20th century. and prelude. Morisot. Monet. Impressionist composers favored short forms such as the nocturne. and Cassatt concentrated primarily on the human subject. Berthe Morisot. Manet. Both Manet and Degas reinterpreted classical ﬁgurative canons within contemporary situations. the transience of light and weather playing a major role in their work. Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel are generally considered the greatest Impressionist composers. and Cassatt turned to domestic life for inspiration. and unusual visual angles. and Edgar Degas worked in a more direct approach than had previously been exhibited publicly. Renoir.
Sunrise” (1872-1873) (see above. “The Childʼs Bath” (1893)
Cézanne. in text)
.Cassatt. “Jas de Bouffan” (1876)
Degas. “Impression. “The Dance Class” (1873-1876)
and Georges Seurat. Van Gogh's turbulent method of paint application. “The Garden of Pontoise” (1875)
Sisley. for Gauguin impressionism gave way to a personal symbolism. culminating in series of monumental works. along with Paul Cezanne led art to the edge of modernism. “Sand Heaps” (1875)
POST-IMPRESSIONISM (1886-1914) Post-Impressionism is the term coined by the British artist and art critic Roger Fry in 1910. Paul Gauguin. structured on frieze-like compositions. to describe the development of European art from Manet up to about World War I. Monet sought challenges in increasingly chromatic and changeable conditions. While Sisley most closely adhered to the original principals of the impressionist perception of the landscape.
.Pissarro. Slightly younger Post-Impressionists like Vincent Van Gogh. and Pissarro adopted some of the experiments of Post-Impressionism. Seurat transformed impressionism's broken color into a scientiﬁc optical study.
concentrating on French art between 1886 and 1914. The declarations of war.they signal a major break in European cultural history. “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” (1884-1886)
Van Gogh. Art Nouveau was 1890-1914! Post-Impressionism is a term best used within Rewald's deﬁnition in a strictly historical manner.coupled with a sonorous use of color. and re-considering the altered positions of impressionist painters like Claude Monet. predicted Expressionism and Fauvism. Younger painters during the 1890s and early 20th century worked in geographically disparate regions and in various stylistic categories. Auguste Renoir. and others . “The Starry Night” (1889)
. Although they often exhibited together. Camille Pissarro.as well as all new brands at the turn of the century: from Cloisonnism to Cubism. too. Post-Impressionist artists were not in agreement concerning a cohesive movement. by the way. would come to be seen as a precursor of 20th century art. and Cézanne. indicate probably far more than the beginning of a World War . such as Fauvism and Cubism. in July/August 1914. desiring to unite classical composition with a revolutionary abstraction of natural forms. Examples
“The Sleeping Gypsy” (1897)
Toulouse-Lautrec. “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” (1897)
Rousseau.Gauguin. “At the Moulin Rouge” (1892)
sphere and cone. it is not the same as “contemporary art. Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck revolutionized the Paris art world with "wild".” The heritage of painters like Van Gogh. landscapes and ﬁgure paintings that the critics called Fauvism (fauve = “beast”). At the beginning of the 20th century Henri Matisse and several other young artists including the precubist Georges Braque. Cézanne. multi-colored.
. “Road Before the Mountains. It reﬂects Matisse's incipient fascination with primitive art: the intense warm colors against the cool blue-green background and the rhythmical succession of dancing nudes convey the feelings of emotional liberation and hedonism. “The Peacock Skirt” (1894)
MODERNISM Modernism is a speciﬁc movement of art during the ﬁrst part of the 20th century. André Derain. and Seurat was essential for the development of modern art. expressive. Gauguin. Henri Matisse's second version of The Dance signiﬁes a key point in his career and in the development of modern painting. Pablo Picasso made his ﬁrst cubist paintings based on Cézanne's idea that all depiction of nature can be reduced to three solids: cube. Sainte-Victoire” (1898-1902)
Art Nouveau: Beardsley.Cezanne.
Picasso dramatically created a new and radical picture depicting a raw and primitive brothel scene with ﬁve prostitutes. to avant-garde ﬁlm. Amedeo Modigliani. Dadaism. from Modernist architecture and design. reminiscent of African tribal masks and his own new Cubist inventions.
Examples Picasso. and the Expressionism of Edvard Munch. theatre and modern dance and became an experimental laboratory for the expression of visual experience. “Les Demoiselles dʼAvignon” (1907) (Above)
. Modern painting inﬂuenced all the visual arts. Die Brücke (a group led by German painter Ernst Kirchner). Egon Schiele.With the painting “Les Demoiselles d'Avignon” (1907) (Left). and Surrealism. Suprematism. Song of Love 1914) is one of the most famous works by de Chirico and is an early example of the surrealist style. though it was painted ten years before the movement was “founded” by André Breton in 1924 (see gallery). His compelling and mysterious paintings are considered instrumental to the early beginnings of Surrealism. Chaim Soutine and others. Enigma of an Afternoon and Self-Portrait. During the years between 1910 and the end of World War I and after the heyday of cubism. several movements emerged in Paris. his work was noticed by Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire and several others. Abstract art. During 1913 he exhibited his work at the Salon des Indépendants and Salon dʼAutomne. Synchromism. as can be seen in the work of the Fauves. Van Gogh's painting exerted great inﬂuence upon 20th century Expressionism. Orphism.. from photography and concrete poetry to advertising art and fashion. where he joined his brother Andrea (the poet and painter known as Alberto Savinio). De Stijl. Giorgio De Chirico moved to Paris in July 1911. where he exhibited three of his dreamlike works: Enigma of the Oracle. Through his brother he met Pierre Laprade a member of the jury at the Salon dʼAutomne. violently painted women. Marc Chagall. Bauhaus. Constructivism. Other important movements often grouped with Modernism include Futurism. Der Blaue Reiter.
“I and the Village” (1911)
Munch. “Composition VII” (1913)
.Chagall. “Jeanne Hebuterne in Red Shawl” (c. 1917)
Kandinsky. “The Scream” (1893)
Going Senile” (c. “Composition II in Red. Blue. 1922)
Mondrian. “Nude Descending a Staircase” (1912)
Matisse. “Head of Man. and Yellow” (1930)
Duchamp. “La Danse” (1909)
“The Red Tower” (1913)
Miró. “L'Ange du Foyer” (1937)
.De Chirico. “The Persistence of Memory” (1931)
Ernst. “This is Not a Pipe” (1929)
Dalí. “The Tilled Field” (1923-1924)
and Louise Nevelson in particular were some of the sculptors considered as being important members of the movement. yet all three are classiﬁed as abstract expressionists. thus capturing the mood and rhythm of contemporary life. Richard Stankiewicz. Robert Motherwell. Jackson Pollock and others. or the relationships among these elements. Hans Hofmann. the Bauhaus and Synthetic Cubism. Although the term "abstract expressionism" was ﬁrst applied to American art in 1946 by the art critic Robert Coates. The subject matter is color or line or texture. In practice. three-dimensional effects in painting were sheer illusion. as in a portrait or still life. rather nihilistic. De Kooning painted in a style that came to be referred to variously as Abstract expressionism. Philip Guston and Clyfford Still among others. A painting to them was a ﬂat surface with paint on it. The movement's name is derived from the combination of the emotional intensity and self-denial of the German Expressionists with the anti-ﬁgurative aesthetic of the European abstract schools such as Futurism. sculpture and certain sculptors in particular were also integral to Abstract expressionism. the term is applied to any number of artists working (mostly) in New York who had quite different styles.
. The artists use color or line to translate their emotions on canvas. highly idiosyncratic and. The subject matter of these paintings is not a realistic image.ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM Abstract expressionism was an American post–World War II art movement. Additionally. Ibram Lassaw. In the post World War II era. Willem de Kooning. anarchic. a role formerly ﬁlled by Paris. Franz Kline. Mark Rothko. In the USA. it had been ﬁrst used in Germany in 1919 in the magazine Der Sturm. Action painting. above). Alfred Barr was the ﬁrst to use this term in 1929 in relation to works by Wassily Kandinsky (see PostImpressionists. and even applied to work which is not especially abstract nor expressionist. Phillip Pavia. Pollock's energetic "action paintings". stressing risk and unpredictability. Mary Callery. are different both technically and aesthetically. with their "busy" feel. Franz Kline. The abstract expressionists abandoned the idea that painting is a picture window looking into the real world. some feel. David Smith. and his wife Dorothy Dehner. It was the ﬁrst speciﬁcally American movement to achieve worldwide inﬂuence and also the one that put New York City at the center of the art world. regarding German Expressionism. Color Field paintings (which is not what would usually be called expressionist and which Rothko denied was abstract). Theodore Roszak. Other painters that developed this school of painting include Jackson Pollock. and the New York School. To these artists and others who followed them. Hans Hofmann. to the violent and grotesque Women series of Willem de Kooning (which are ﬁgurative paintings) and to the rectangles of color in Mark Rothko's. and painters like Arshile Gorky. Louise Bourgeois. Arshile Gorky. While the movement is closely associated with painting. Isamu Noguchi. an object to be appreciated for its own sake. it has an image of being rebellious.
“Woman V” (1952-1953)
Rothko. Green on Orange” (1947)
. “Magenta. Black. “Lavender Mist” (detail) (1950)
No. “Portrait of Master Bill” (1929-1936)
Motherwell. “The Gate” (1959-1960)
Kline.Gorky. “Painting Number 2” (1954)
. “Elegy to the Spanish Republic. 57” (1957-60)
The painting becomes a ﬁeld of color. often geometric and abstract. explore the relationships between color and form and are a reaction to the spontaneous brushwork of the abstract expressionists. “Colors for a Large Wall” (1951)
Stella. so that the unprimed cotton duck itself became part of the composition and enhanced the feeling of ﬂat veils of color. “Mountains and Sea” (1952)
Louis. These paintings vary from the pared-down oddly shaped cnavases of Ellsworth Kelly to the more decorative metal reliefs of Frank Stella. occupying the whole surface of the canvas. “Where” (1960)
MINIMALISM and GEOMETRIC ABSTRACTION These preconceived paintings. “The Science of Laziness” (1984)
. Examples Kelly.COLOR FIELD PAINTING The thinned paint used by Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis gives a ﬂat look to the canvas. Artists include Helen Frankenthaler. the lack of brushstroke was a way of reacting to the thick gestures of paint favored by abstract expressionists. and Morris Louis. Examples Frankenthaler.
These artists depicted realistic subject matter. Artists included Jasper Johns. Pop art was a reaction against abstract painting and emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Just as the impressionists recorded street life in turn-of-the-century Paris. the pop artists provided an instant chronicle of what mattered most to people in the 1960s-1970s. Andy Warhol. and Tom Wesselmann. Examples
Johns. Roy Lichtenstein. Wayne Thiebaud. “Flag” (1954-1955)
Lichtenstein. celebrating postwar consumerism. “Drowning Girl” (1963)
Oldenburg. with irony and wit. James Rosenquist. most notably common objects. “Typewriter Eraser” (1999)
.POP ART A distancing or cool detachment characterizes the worls of the minimalists as well as those of the pop artists. Claes Oldenburg. Robert Rauschenberg.
Warhol. “Untitled. “Still Life #20” (1962)
. “President Elect” (1960-1961)
Thiebaud. “Marilyn” (1967)
Wesselmann.Rauschenberg. combine” (1963)
Artists include Jennifer Bartlett. AND OTHER CONTEMPORARY DIRECTIONS The younger generation of artists in the 1980s explored all areas from abstract to realistic.OP ART These artists were primarily concerned with colorful geometric patterns to create optical illusions. naive images. Bartlett. intellectual to emotional paintings. Anuszkiewicz. Artist Richard Anuszkiewicz is an example. which produce surprising kinetic effects. They were reacting against the gloriﬁcation of pop culture. Jean-Michel Basquiat. “Houses” (2005)
Basquiat. “Untitled (Skull)” (1981)
. Donald Sultan. “Temple of the Radiant Yellow” (1985)
NEW IMAGISM. often with private or personal references. they concentrated on precise color relationships. Their concerns went from stylistically crude. funky paintings to almost childlike.
neo-Dada painting. Other important visual art trends at this time include environmental/land art.CONTEMPORARY ART: TODAYʼS TRENDS Today. shaped canvas painting. abstract expressionism. this creates an aesthetic trafﬁc jam with no ﬁrm and clear direction and with every lane on the artistic superhighway ﬁlled to capacity. geometric abstraction. Such trends in contemporary art include: hard-edge painting. Grafﬁti. it remains to be seen in future centuries what will be considered the important art being made today. postmodern painting. collage. The "crisis" in painting and current art and current art criticism today is brought about by pluralism. appropriation. by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan Metropolitan Museum of Artʼs Timeline of Art History (http://www.org Art for Dummies by Thomas Hoving and Andrew Wyeth Art: The World's Greatest Paintings Explored and Explained (Hardcover) by Robert Cumming Art Explained (Annotated Guides) by Robert Cumming The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to PostModern (Paperback) by Carol Strickland
. assemblage painting. Instead of giving you examples of contemporary art trends. “There is an anything goes attitude that prevails. minimalism. pop art. and anime/manga. neoexpressionism.metmuseum.org/toah/splash. traditional ﬁgure painting. and consequently "nothing going on" syndrome. portrait painting. expressionism. video and media. Many important works of art continue to be made.youtube.htm) Wikipedia. be sure and check out the videos on YouTube from Art 21 (http://www. environmental mural painting. There is no consensus as to a representative style of today. there are 78 or so videos to choose from. computer art painting. installations. an "everything going on".com/user/art21org). color ﬁeld painting. op art. Take the time to watch at least 5 of the short videos. monochrome painting. site speciﬁc art. hyperrealism. landscape painting.
SOURCES The Painterʼs Eye: Learning to Look at Contemporary American Art. lyrical abstraction. intermedia painting. photorealism. contemporary art is characterized by the idea of pluralism.