Development of Painting

€ Pre-historic

Painting € Painting in Egyptian Tombs € Greek Painting € Etruscan and Roman Paintings € Medieval Painting € Renaissance € Neo-Classical Paintings € Romantic Era € Modern Period € Postmodernism in Paintings

Pre-historic painting

Includes the Aurignacian Period (60,000 BC to 40,000 BC) and the Magdaleniian Period (30,000 BC to 10,000 BC) Aurignacian art is seen in the thousand of animal paintings in caves and rock shelters in the south western France and in the Cantabrian mountains in Northern Spain


€ Magdalenian

art is also seen in the cave paintings at Altamira in Spain and in the glacier rocks in Scandinavia. colors were used, red ocher, yellow ocher, and lampblack made from animal fat burned in lamps

€ Natural

A bison from the Altamira cave (Spain) ceiling, one of the cave's most famous paintings.,_bison.jpg

Cave painting of a dun horse (equine) at Lascaux, France

These paintings are estimated to be 17,000 years old. They primarily consist of realistic images of large animals, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time. The cave contains nearly 2,000 figures, which can be grouped into three main categories ² animals, human figures and abstract signs. f_the_Bulls_2.jpg.html

Ancient Egyptian Art
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style of painting, sculpture, crafts and architecture developed by the civilization in the lower Nile Valley from 5000 BC to 300 AD of the surviving ancient Egyptian art comes from tombs and monuments and thus there is an emphasis on life after death and the preservation of knowledge of the past.

€ Much

Tomb of Tutankhamun

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Paintings of Tutankhamun in the afterlife cover the walls of his tomb chamber. The pharaoh¶s mummified body was placed inside three mummy cases. The innermost mummy case, seen here, is of solid gold embedded with jewels.

Wall painting of Nefertari


Egyptian paintings are painted in such a way to show a profile view and a side view of the animal or person. For example, the painting of Nefertari shows the head from a profile view and the body from a frontal view. Their main colors were red, blue, black, gold, and green.

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ancient Egyptian paintings have survived due to Egypt's extremely dry climate. The paintings were often made with the intent of making a pleasant afterlife for the deceased. themes included journey through the after world or protective deities introducing the deceased to the gods of the underworld (such as Osiris).

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Art in Ancient Greece

The art of Ancient Greece is usually divided stylistically into four periods: the Geometric, Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic. The onset of the Persian Wars (480 BC to 448 BC) is usually taken as the dividing line between the Archaic and the Classical periods, and the reign of Alexander the Great (336 BC to 323 BC) is taken as separating the Classical from the Hellenistic period.


Geometric art
is a phase of Greek art, characterised largely by geometric motifs in vase painting, that flourished towards the end of the Greek Dark Ages, circa 900 BCE to 700 BCE. Its centre was in Athens Linear designs were the principal motif used in this period.

Vases in the Geometric style are characterized by several horizontal bands about the circumference covering the entire vase. Between these lines the geometric artist used a number of other decorative motifs such as the zigzag, the triangle, the meander and the swastika. Besides abstract elements, painters of this era introduced stylized depictions of humans and animals.

Many of the surviving objects of this period are funerary objects, a particularly important class of which are the amphorae that acted as grave markers for aristocratic graves, principally the Dipylon Amphora by the Dipylon Master.

Dipylon Vase of the late Geometric period, or the beginning of the Archaic period, ca. 750 BC.

Archaic period in Greece (800 BCE ² 480 BCE)
is a period of Ancient Greek history Archaic period followed the Greek Dark Ages

The end of archaism is conventionally defined as Xerxes' invasion of Greece in 480 BC.

The period takes its name from what, in art history, was considered the archaic or old-fashioned style of sculpture and other works of art/craft that were characteristic of this time, as opposed to the more natural look of work made in the following Classical period

Traditionally, classical Greek history begins with the first Olympiad, which occurred in 776 BC, although Greek culture did not truly flourish until later. the period generally referred to as the 5th century BC encroaches slightly on the 4th century BC

This century is essentially studied from the Athenian outlook because Athens has left us more narratives, plays, and other written works than the other Greek states.

the purpose of classical art was the glorification of man

Hellenistic Art
€ Hellenistic

art is the art of the Hellenistic period and dating from 323 BC to 146 BC. of the best-known works of Greek sculpture belong to this period, Laocoön and his Sons, Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

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Laocoön Group, Vatican Museums, Rome

The Hellenistic period describes the era which followed the conquests of Alexander the Great. It is often considered a period of transition, sometimes even of decline or decadence, between the brilliance of the Greek Classical Era and the emergence of the Roman Empire. Usually taken to begin with the death of Alexander in 323 BC.

Certain mosaics, however, provide a pretty good idea of the "grand painting" of the period: these are copies of frescoes. An example is the Alexander Mosaic, showing the confrontation of the young conqueror and the Grand King Darius III at the Battle of Issus, a mosaic from a floor in the House of the Faun at Pompeii (now in Naples).

Greek art is divided into four periods:
Pre-Greek period ± 20th ± 11th century BC 2. First Greek Period ± 1000 BC ± 5th century BC 3. Golden Age ± 480 ± 400 BC 4. Hellenistic Period ± 4th to 1st century BC

Pre-Greek period

Art started to flourish on the island of Crete; Minoan civilization Painting flourished, decorating the halls of the palaces and made vases for decorative purposes



surviving examples of Minoan art are Minoan pottery, the palace architecture with its frescos that include landscapes, stone carvings, and intricately carved seal stones

A fresco found at the Minoan site of Knossos, indicating a sport or ritual of "bull leaping", the red skinned figure is a man and the two light skinned figures are women

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First Greek Period

The extensive trade between Greece and Egypt during the 7th century brought great Egyptian influence on Greek art

Golden Age
Also known as the Age Pericles € Greek artists achieved complete mastery of anatomical (ideal body proportions), technical, and aesthetic aspects of life, which were manifested in their paintings and sculpture € The ideal types of human body evolved: poised, healthy, and strong, but with a detached facial expression

Hellenistic Period

Vase painting was popularized by even great Greek painters of the day

Red-figure vase painting is one of the most important styles of figural Greek vase painting. It developed in Athens around 530 BC and remained in use until the late 3rd century BC. It replaced the previously dominant style of Black-figure vase painting within a few decades.

The first red-figure vases were produced around 530 BC. The invention of the technique normally is accredited to the Andokides Painter.

The wedding of Thetis, pyxis by the Wedding Painter, circa 470/460 BC. Paris: Louvre

Red-figure depictions were generally more lively and realistic than the black-figure silhouettes. They were also more clearly contrasted against the black backgrounds. The red-figure technique permitted the indication of a third dimension on the figures. However, it also had disadvantages. For example, the distinction of sex by using black slip for male skin and white paint for female skin was now impossible. The ongoing trend to depict heroes and deities naked and of youthful age also made it harder to distinguish the sexes through garments or hairstyles.

The black background did not permit the depiction of space with any depth, so that the use of spatial perspective almost never was attempted.

Black Figure Vase

Heracles and Geryon on an Attic black-figured amphora with a thick layer of transparent gloss, c. 540 BC, now in the Munich State Collection of Antiquities

Black-figure pottery painting, also known as the black-figure style or blackfigure ceramic is one of the foremost techniques and styles for adorning antique Greek vases. Black-figure painting on vases was the first art style to give rise to a significant number of identifiable artists.

Black figure vase painting had been developed in Corinth in the 7th century BC and quickly became the dominant style of pottery decoration throughout the Greek world and beyond. Red- as well as black-figure vases are one of the most important sources of mythology and iconography, and sometimes also for researching day-today ancient Greek life.

Scene from a black-figure amphora from Athens, 6th century BC, now in the Louvre, Paris

Etruscan and Roman Paintings

Etruscans believed in the after life; thus they considered the tomb as the eternal home of the soul, which survived after death Their paintings show scenes of daily life feasts, and dances in which the dead participates. Tomb paintings



Etruscan art

was the form of figurative art produced by the Etruscan civilization in northern Italy between the 9th and 2nd centuries BC The Etruscan paintings that have survived to modern times are mostly wall frescoes from graves, and mainly from Tarquinia. These are incredibly important as the most important example of pre-Roman figurative art in Italy known to scholars.


Etruscan wallpainting

Roman Paintings and mosaics

The Roman style shows command and ease in figure drawing with the effective use of the light and shade, and the slight use of shadows for better visual effect. Major forms of Roman art are architecture, painting, sculpture and mosaic work.



Of the paintings which survive from the Roman classical world, many are frescoes from the area of Campania around Naples. Campania includes Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other towns whose buildings, paintings, and sculptures were preserved by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79. The Romans painted directly on the walls of their rooms, and also on portable panels.



There is evidence from mosaics and a few inscriptions that some Roman paintings were adaptations or copies of earlier Greek works.

Pompeian painter with painted statue and framed painting Pompeii

Early Christian Art
Galla Placidia Interior

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The richly decorated interior of the 5th-century Galla Placidia mausoleum in Ravenna, Italy, contrasts with the plain brick exterior. This contrast is typical of Early Christian architecture. The mosaic from the entrance wall features Jesus Christ as the good shepherd.

Byzantine Art (Eastern Roman Empire)

the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Byzantine Empire from about the 4th century until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453

The most famous of the surviving Byzantine mosaics of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople - the image of Christ Pantocrator on the walls of the upper southern gallery. Christ is flanked by the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist. The mosaics were made in the 12th century.

Romanesque Art

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arts and architecture of western Europe from about ad 1000 to the rise of the Gothic style

This early-12th-century illuminated manuscript illustration depicts Moses expounding the law. The piece is divided into two scenes, the upper showing Moses and Aaron delivering the law to the Israelites, and the lower showing Moses distinguishing between the clean and unclean beasts. The illustration serves as the frontispiece for a Bible from the Abbey of Bury Saint Edmunds in England.
Moses Expounding the Law

Gothic Painting
Duccio¶s Maestà

Gothic art began to be produced in France about 1140, spreading to the rest of Europe during the following century. The Gothic Age ended with the advent of the Renaissance in Italy

The most celebrated work by Italian artist Duccio di Buoninsegna was the Maestà (1308-1311), a huge altarpiece for the cathedral of Siena. The Madonna enthroned and surrounded by angels, saints, and apostles appears on the front of the altarpiece, shown here. The passion of Christ was illustrated on the back.

Simone Martini¶s Annunciation

Italian painter Simone Martini introduced the fresco technique to the Sienese school during the 14th century. In his masterpiece Annunciation (1333), Martini depicts the angel Gabriel's visit to the Virgin Mary. The painting hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

Early Renaissance

describes the cultural revolution of the 15th and 16th centuries a revival of the classical forms originally developed by the ancient Greeks and Romans interest in humanism and assertion of the importance of the individual

Expulsion from Paradise (about 1427) is one of six frescoes painted by Masaccio for the Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy. The fresco was influential for its realism, especially the simplicity and threedimensionality of the figures, and for the dramatic depiction of the plight of Adam and Eve.
Masaccio¶s Expulsion from Paradise

Early Renaissance
Madonna with Saints

Madonna with Saints (1505, San Zaccaria, Venice), by Renaissance artist Giovanni Bellini, is an oil painting on wood transferred to canvas. The altarpiece was done late in the artist¶s life, when his sense of composition and ability to render perspective were at their peak. It is a large painting, measuring 4.92 m by 2.32 m (16 ft 5 in by 7 ft 9 in).

High Renaissance

Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo was the quintessential Renaissance man

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa (1503-1506, Louvre, Paris), Leonardo da Vinci¶s world-famous portrait, was the artist¶s favorite painting; in fact, it went everywhere with him. Although there have been many theories about the origin of the inexplicable smile on the woman¶s face, it was probably just the result of Leonardo¶s interest in natural chiaroscuro (the effect of light and shadow on the subject).

Raphael¶s La Belle Jardinière

Completed in 1508 in Florence, La Belle Jardinière is one of the most famous Madonna portraits of Italian Renaissance painter Raphael. Raphael studied the works of Leonardo da Vinci while in Florence and applied some of Leonardo¶s techniques to his own painting. Raphael¶s use of contrasting lights and darks, and the relaxed, informal pose of the Madonna illustrate Leonardo¶s influence on La Belle Jardinière.

Mannerism-Late Renaissance Art
Mannerism, heralding a shift away from the High Renaissance

Active mainly in Venice, Italian painter Tintoretto is noted for his dramatically lit works with dynamic compositions. This painting depicts the Old Testament story of Susanna, a woman unjustly accused of adultery by her scorned admirers. Created after 1560, Susanna Bathing is in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

Susanna Bathing

style in art and architecture of the 16th century In many Mannerist paintings proportions appear stretched, so that figures have elongated torsos, necks, or other features, and the illusion of space is unrealistic, with sharp jumps from foreground to background rather than gradual transitions.

With its stylized, twisted pose and ambiguous use of space, Italian painter Agnolo Bronzino¶s painting Saint John the Baptist demonstrates the Mannerist style popular in the mid-16th century. This work is in the Borghese Gallery in Rome, Italy.

Saint John the Baptist

Baroque Painting
the style dominating the art and architecture of Europe and certain European colonies in the Americas throughout the 1600s, and in some places, until 1750

Italian baroque painter Caravaggio painted scenes of realism and drama, often selecting lofty, religious themes and depicting them with lowerclass characters and settings with dramatic spotlighting. With its unidealized characters and focus on the horse¶s body, his Conversion of Saint Paul seems to record a stable accident, not a miraculous conversion by God. This work was painted in 1601 and is in the Cerasi Chapel, Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome, Italy.

Conversion of Saint Paul


Writers such as the 19th-century Swiss cultural historian Jakob Burckhardt considered this style the decadent end of the Renaissance

Rembrandt (16061669), Dutch baroque artist Painted in 1659, Moses Smashing the Commandments is a late work by Rembrandt. It demonstrates his ability to create a sense of drama through the skillful use of chiaroscuro (contrasts of light and dark). Light seems to be radiating from Moses and the tablets.

Moses Smashing the Commandments

Rococo art
flourished in France and Germany in the early 18th century, was in many respects a continuation of the baroque, particularly in the use of light and shadow and compositional movement

The Asam Brothers, Egid and Cosmas, were masters of illusionistic rococo architecture and sculpture. They designed the Church of the Ascension (17171725) in Rohr, Germany. The church¶s altarpiece shows the Virgin Mary ascending to heaven.

Asam Brothers¶ Interior, Germany

The rococo period corresponded roughly to the reign (1715-74) of King Louis XV of France

Jean-Antoine Watteau¶s The Embarkation for the Island of Cythera, (1717) is one of the best surviving examples of French rococo painting. Watteau¶s delicate, ethereal style, influenced by Peter Paul Rubens and the Venetian school, was well suited for paintings of fêtes galantes at which the French upper classes socialized in the open air. The Embarkation for the Island of Cythera

Neo-Classical Painting
art produced in Europe and North America from about 1750 through the early 1800s, marked by the emulation of Greco-Roman forms

French painter Jacques-Louis David was a leading proponent of neoclassicism. Sympathetic to the aims of the French Revolution, he painted many images of its heroes. Death of Marat is a portrait of a revolutionary martyr who was killed in his bathtub by a political enemy. Painted in 1793, it is in the Musées Royaux des BeauxArts, Brussels, Belgium.

Death of Marat

neoclassicism was linked to contemporary political events

English painter William Hogarth became famous with a series of paintings entitled A Rake's Progress. The painting shown here, The Rake at the Rose Tavern, is part of that series and was painted in 1735. It is in the Sir John Soane Museum in London, England.

The Rake at the Rose Tavern

Romantic Painting
Romanticism, in art, European and American movement extending from about 1800 to 1850 romantic painting is generally characterized by a highly imaginative and subjective approach, emotional intensity, and a dreamlike or visionary quality romantic art characteristically strives to express by suggestion states of feeling too intense, mystical, or elusive to be clearly defined.

Romantic Painting

French romantic painter Théodore Géricault painted Raft of the Medusa (18181819, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France), a realistic portrayal of men suffering at sea on a makeshift life raft. Géricault modeled the painting after a tragic incident in which a French government ship, the Medusa, foundered off the coast of West Africa with hundreds of men on board.

Raft of the Medusa

Romantic Painting

French romantic painter Eugène Delacroix was inspired to paint Liberty Leading the People after the Revolution of 1830, when Parisians took up arms in hope of restoring the republic created after the French Revolution of 1789 to 1799. Although the Revolution of 1830 failed to restore the republic, it ended France's absolute monarchy and brought in a parliamentary monarchy. Liberty Leading the People

Barbizon School
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Barbizon Art
French artist Jean François Millet focused on painting scenes of rural life, a famous example being The Gleaners (1857). His work has ties to the Barbizon school of artists, who aimed to naturalistically depict landscapes. Millet is also considered a member of the 19th-century realism movement because his works generally depict unidealized subjects.

The Gleaners


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