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Style and Western Art Movements
Transcript of Style and Western Art Movements
major art movements that have changed art over the centuries, beginning with the movement of Classical Greek.
The Precursor of Renaissance Classical Antiquity
The Classical movement (Greek art's Golden Age), is one that spanned the short period between 480-360 BC.
Classical Greek art was all about depicting a story and often drew tales of the gods and other mythological deities. Common medium included marble, bronze and terracotta.
Greek art reached its climax in the golden age and it was the independence of Athens that propelled philosophy and fine arts to the forefront of thinking. It was their own perfection that inspired the creation of harmonious, ordered works. The art of this time exemplified the miracle of their civilisation and the feeling of 'tasteful accomplishment.'
This Classical Greek art included stylistic features of idealism and flat patterned figures in a lot of relief sculptures. The subject of Classical Greek art was almost always life and a focus on daily routines, opposing that of others like Egyptian styles that focussed on death and the afterlife.
It was a movement prevalent not only throughout Greece but the Roman Empire itself. Classical Greek art is seldom found in stand-alone paintings and was expressed wholly through sculpture and ceramics (most often with painted depictions on their surface).
Artists of the period include Myron (famous for the 'Discus Thrower'-450BC) and Calamis ('Poseidon'-460BC). Other famous works include the 'Laocoön and His Sons' (sculpted by Agesander, Polydorus and Athanadorus) and various ornamental 'Lapith and Centaur' relief sculptures.
After 350 BC we see a decline in the art of Classical Greece and over the next 600 years it undergoes a transition through Greco-Roman and Roman until Early Christian and Byzantine art comes about.
a sense of perfect order, balance, unity and elegance.
This era of Classical Greek art proclaimed the importance of man above all else
obsession with form and beauty that inspired a lot of the sculptures and art created.
work contained 'narratives'
Early Christian - Byzantine
An Illusionistic Roman Style
The Early Christian and Byzantine art movements date from around 313 AD to 600 AD and then continuing until conclusion in 1453 AD. As an art style it was mainly employed by the church to display naturalistic piety, it was widespread through mainstream Europe and the byzantine empire.
A Roman style inspired the early Christian frescoes that appeared at the beginning of this movement. It was heavily influenced by the Christian faith and by Christendom collectively, thus gaining heavy use in Byzantium.
The focus of Early Christian art and later on the Byzantine movement was life hereafter and reverence.
In most Byzantine mosaics we see political and religious figures
pure devotion to God and Christian ideas
There were a lot of naturalistic Christian symbols
In the later years of the Christian art movement Byzantine forms began to thrive. Even in light of the East-West Schism (Great Schism), an event that divided the State Church of the Roman Empire into the Roman Catholic and Orthodox branches, the style was still heavily influencial throughout Europe as a whole. But there were some interesting effects that stemmed from the schism.
The Great Schism can even explain how Byzantine and Early Christian inspired art forms made their way to Russia after the 11th century. With the division of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, the static and stable art movement unbroken by the religious cataclysm brought stylised and reverent techniques to the Orthodox Slavic Balkan lands. Saintly religious subject matter was adopted and stayed in fashion right up until the 1800's.
Where the east continued using Early Christian styles into the Byzantine era, the disconnected west faded out into the Romanesque period, an anglicised version of the Byzantine movement.
This is a perfect example of how history and art are tied together, an event in either one or the other affecting both.
After 1300 AD, though it continued right up to 1453, we see the Byzantine style merge over a short period into that of the Renaissance and Proto-Renaissance. The movement did undergo a radical transformation through its medium and subject. Painting and sculpture again were revived in a rapidly changing time of discovery and worldly interest. The stiff decorative style of the Byzantine movement retained its serenity and conveyance of message but changed for a more natural and emotional style. It is through this change we see the Renaissance appear.
est 1490s - 1527
The Rebirth of Man
The Renaissance era spanned from the 14th to 17th centuries, the art of the time more specifically being prevalent from 1420 AD - 1520 AD. The High Renaissance was a time, like that of Classical Greek, where the period experienced a golden age, an influx of philosophy and art marking this dominant time from around 1490 AD.
A movement that was Italian based, the Renaissance started in Florence and can be traced back to the beginning of the 15th century.
the art of this time was a rebirth of classical antiquity and grew all over Europe.
Prosperity, wealth and luxury all increased as did the political, social and economic outlook in Italy. Freedom of thought, science, skill, humanism and realism formed the backbone of Renaissance art with a harmonious and balanced style.
The High Renaissance was a time when the nude human figure was used to express worthy ideas. Sfumato, the gradual merging of light and dark tones, was a popular technique amoung artists like Leonardo Da Vinci. Frescoes were again on the rise and probably the most popular of these was Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
beauty was depicted as the ideal
Many sculptures showed an ideal of the 'perfect being.'
The beautiful human figure was also depicted in monumental form to proclaim its importance and the perfection of its form.
Closed form composition achieved balance through pyramidal structure and pictorial soldity was attained through the chief use of light-and-shade and colour.
Famous art works of this time include 'The Last Supper' (1495-98) and 'Mona Lisa' (1503-6) (Leonardo Da Vinci), 'The Creation of Adam' (Michelangelo Buonarotti) and the 'School of Athens' (1509-11, Raphael).
A Fantasy of Chaos and Unrest
Beautiful human figure, perfectly exemplified through Michelangelo's 'David', the symbol of the Renaissance.
After the Renaissance, the similar style with different themes and approaches lingered on and was developed differently in the air of wanted change. Styles began to blend into more of a personal interpretation rather than a strict idealistic view and thus Mannerism was born.
Mannerism was a European art movement that developed during the concluding years of the High Renaissance (around 1510-1520 in Florence or Rome). It contained the same harmonious and dignified essence that was so common in Renaissance art but brought about an early 'filtered' naturalism. Not as heavy as that of the future Baroque would be, Mannerism was aimed at achieving different goals to what would have been sought in Renaissance painting. Even with a lowered sense of Naturalism, there was still an opposition to classical calm order and Mannerism seemed to express tension in the art.
Though Northern Mannerism did continue though right up until the 17th century, being prevalent after the introduction of Baroque around northern Europe in places like the Netherlands and France, the movement itself seemingly faded in the south with the start of the Thirty Years War, between Protestant and Catholic reformers. With the Catholic Reformation, aimed at winning back or winning over hesitant Protestants and borderline Catholics, art was once again thrust back into the hands of religion, the south embracing Baroque as a tool of confirming Catholic piety and sole-prominence.
A change from the Renaissance, the Mannerist movement showed a deep sense in 'what can be done different?' It was relaxed and displayed violent emotion. Much early Mannerism produced off-balance poses and elongated forms as well as diverse and absurd environments or settings.
If Mannerism was anything it was definitely theatrical. Many scenes depicted in paintings were crowded and set with peculiar lighting.
Just like most other art periods, Mannerism was also accompanied by a drastic event in history. The Counter-Reformation, a time of the Catholic Churches revival, dated from 1560 and influenced the styles of the Mannerist movement. In many religious paintings of this time the dismay and perplexity reflects the unrest of the era, a time when Catholicism competed with Protestantism for dominance over Europe.
Artists like Michelangelo, a Renaissance painter and sculptor, really imbedded themselves into the period. Though Michelangelo is an example of the later High Renaissance/Early Mannerist, his frescoes in the Sistine Chapel (more specifically The Last Judgement) are good examples of the crowded, chaotic, mannered style that became more common in later years.
Those well known for their contribution to Mannerism include El Greco (1541-1614) and Tintoretto (1518-94). El Greco (named for his birthplace in Crete) is renowned for works like 'The Resurrection of Christ' (1600) and 'View of Toledo' (1618). Tintoretto created paintings like 'The Miracle of St. Mark' (1548).
Naturalism and Religious Purpose
With the Catholic-Protestant feud in play southern Europe plunged into the Baroque era, a time from 1580 to 1750 that revitalised the art of storytelling through painting.
This type of art exacted the aims of the Catholic Church.
The Baroque movement was heavily influencial in Italy, the religious centre of the south, and was restrained in places like England and Spain.
The focus in Baroque was thrown back on realism and drama. Though naturalism was frowned upon as seemingly blasphemous (because of the religious aspect; religion demanding idealism) it became common, especially in the works of men like Caravaggio.
The Baroque art in northern Europe took on more life-inspired subject matter, Baroque art depicted portraits, daily scenes and dramatic events as opposed to biblical stories.
Whether north or south, art was, again, beginning to be produced for luxury rather than antiquity. The calm and harmony of Renaissance art was brought back as a change from Mannerist styles. Determined to attract attention (this quality more common in the Catholic south where the establishment of Catholicism was paramount), it was the wealth of patrons that gave rise to extravagance again and with this extravagance, a more personal spin was put on painting (the personal, daily works common to the Lutheran, Protestant north).
Realism replaced idealism, slowly but surely, and artists began experimenting with the use of deep space, life and vigour. Chiaroscuro, the contrasting of light and dark tones, was a common technique and added to the theatrical, dynamic, emotional feel that many Baroque paintings conveyed.
Vastly different from the Renaissance, Baroque made use of asymmetrical and open style, paintings, 'The Lion Hunt' exemplifying this.
Main artists that flourished during the Baroque era were men like Michelangelo Caravaggio (1571-1610), an Italian artisan who produced 'The Calling of St. Matthew' (1599-1600) amoung many other naturalistic religion based works, the dutch painter Rembrandt (1606-69), who painted the famous 'Syndics of the Cloth Guild' (1662) and 'The Night Watch' (1642) and Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) who is most famous for 'The Lion Hunt'.
As Baroque progressed, its religious purpose lessened as the nobility became bored of meaningful, heavy art. Rococo soon replaced Baroque as the style of the aristocrat, a symbol of the carefree life a noble was entitled to.
The Gaiety of the Rich
At the turn of the 18th century, art of escape was on the rise. Paintings and art were commissioned for pleasure and lively charm as opposed to religious meaning and confirmation. Common to France in all of its extravagance, Rococo reflected a heavy court culture with all of its dainty fantasies and worldly pleasure-seeking.
This art showed festive moods, classically inspired landscapes and ornamental decoration. It was the pleasure loving age where styles used included the 'Gothick Taste' (adapted Gothic forms), a light-hearted variation of Baroque and 'Chinoiserie' (a Chinese technique using remote space).
For this brief period, the centre of European art switched from Rome to Paris. It was not for long, however, as Rococo was violently guillotined with feudalism and court culture all together in 1789 with the French Revolution. How interesting that the art movement so symbolic of how perfect and tranquil life as a noble was, was removed by those who didn't see life through a rich naivety and rather lived in the real world, of poverty and hardship. Though Rococo ended, Classicism was still very much alive and growing and it wasn't long until Romanticism came about in Western Europe.
Rococo art was dainty and charming, beginning humbly with the design of rooms to express the owners wealth through ornaments and natural curved patterns. It was an enthusiastic style of art, famous works being the 'Embarkation for the Island of Cythera' (1717) and 'Fête Champêtre' (1718-21), both by Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721).
Ones Own Interpretation
Spanning the 19th century, Romanticism was heavily prevalent throughout Western Europe and encompassed the artists personal interpretation of subject matter. As a reaction against Classicism and Rococo, Romanticism showed a new emotional attitude. It valued poetic themes, vigour, rich colour and dramatic lighting.
A lot of landscape painting was produced during the Romanticist era, especially in England and France. A lot of the artistic means used were varied and flexible, common medium including painting, etching, aquataint, lithography and drawing.
We see in Romanticist art the opinions and feelings of the artist reflected. There was a whole lot more personal freedom and as a vast contrast to what had been only just over 200 years before a time glorifying the significance of man, Romanticism recognised the power of nature in comparison to man and the grandure of it.
Perfect examples of the flexibility of this time sit with men like Goya, Constable and William Blake. Romanticist thinking saw great difference in what these men painted and how they conveyed what was depicted.
William Blake was an English artist largely unrecognised in his time who drew upon mystical and religious inspiration. He produced linear art of drawing, water-colour and etching form, the themes of his works reflecting deep reverence.
John Constable (1776-1837) preferred landscape painting and was awestruck by nature. This English artist found inspiration in the earth's tranquility, meadows, trees, cottages, rain and most anything typical to England's culture and country.
Francisco Goya (1746-1828) favoured cruelty and pity, the Spanish court painter having knowledge of corruption and destruction of life.
Though Romanticism was dominant during the 19th century, it shared the tail end of the 1800's with Impressionism, a new movement born from the independence of a cluster of Paris-based artists.
Impressionist artists worked to capture the fleeting vision of joy in everyday scenes and used colour and light effectively in doing so.
Solidity of form and atmosphere were valued more highly than individual detail and research behind an artwork. Broken colour technique with short brush strokes and pure spectrum colours became standard of the Impressionist movement. There was a heavy focus on light and intensity as well as natural discovery and interest.
Compositions were not painstakingly planned but painted in a relaxed manner that pleased viewers. These laid back, life were snap shots of awesome life and joyous life, where both physical and symbolic/emotional light were used.
Famous paintings of this period include Monet's 'Houses of Parliament' (1900-04), Renoir's 'The Luncheon of the Boating Party' (1880-81) and Pissarro's 'Boulevard Montmortre' (1897).
An art movement that started in France, Impressionism was prominent from 1870-1890. With no direct influences, it was formed through the diverse decisions of like-minded artists in Paris. These men (like Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Pierre-Auguste Renoir) possessed different views and new approaches that came out in the works they produced.
The Impressionist painters were considered very
controversial as they did not paint in a realistic way like the
The impressionist painters often painted outside and studied
the effect of light on objects.
Impressionist artist usually studied landscapes and scenes
from the daily life style.
Impressionist painters used loose, fluid blobs of paint.
Art is our history, and in art can be found countless aspects of life, culture and philosophy. It is more than just paint on a canvas but rather the pages of a history book, of a timeline. By studying art, Western Art, it is astounding how much one can learn about the origins of our culture and who we are as people.
Most artists have a
This can be developed by the repeated use of materials and techniques, subject matter and aesthetic qualities.
Style can therefore be referred to as an
, it can however also be referred to as showing the style of a particular
Art Movements are the grouping together of artists that share the same
ideas, style, techniques
and worked in the same
Write a definition in your own words of an art movement
The word Fauvism means “wild animals” in French.
This modern art style was wild with strong and vivid colors.
often arbitary colour scheme
Fauvism used simplified designs in combination with “pure colour.” The first exhibition by Fauvist artists was in the early 1900s.
Franz Marc, Yellow Cow, 1911, Oil on Canvas
Expressionism (Early 1900)
Expressionist painters interpreted things around them in exaggerated, distorted
and emotional ways. Edvard Munch was one of the best known Expressionist painters.
The art movement known as expressionism flourished in the early 1900's. Expressionist artists turned away from representing scenes and objects realistically. Instead, the artists tried to reveal their inner feelings through their art. The subjects they chose to paint were often unsettling. Some subjects were frightening or even grotesque. Painting techniques, too, were designed to arouse an emotional response in the viewer. The artists often used distorted shapes, vivid colors, and twisting or swirling lines to show strong emotion.
This movement is characterized by:
– Bold brush work
– Emotive lines (the painters used their paint
– bright colour.
- unsettling subject matter
Edvard Munch, The Scream – 1983 – wax crayon, tempera, cardboard
Cubism (1907 - 1920)
A style of art that stressed basic abstract
geometric forms and often presented the subject
from many angles at the same time.
Pablo Picasso was a cubist painter (it important to remember he had other 'periods' and painted in other styles).
Cubism was one of the most important art movements of the 1900's.
Cubist artists transformed the way that people, places, and things are presented in art. They broke up these typical subjects into basic geometric shapes and patterns. Cubists also depicted figures and objects from several different viewpoints at once. For example, a woman might be painted with three eyes in order to show her face from the front and the side at the same time.
– geometric shapes
– similar colours
– Painters avoided normal ‘perspective’/realistic
Pablo Picasso, Weeping Woman, 1937, Oil Paint
Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and French artist Georges Braque invented many of cubism's characteristics. Between 1908 and 1914, they worked closely together in France to create a new style of painting that went beyond realism. For centuries, artists had used perspective to render subjects as they appear in the real, three-dimensional world. (Perspective is a technique that gives a painting the appearance of depth.) Picasso and Braque, however, wanted to emphasize the flat, two-dimensional surface of the canvas. So they began dividing their subjects into flat surfaces, or planes.
Dada emerged amid the brutality of World War I (1914–18)—a conflict that claimed the lives of eight million military personnel and an estimated equal number of civilians.
For the disillusioned artists of the Dada movement, the war merely confirmed the break down of social structures that led to such violence: corrupt politics, repressive social values, and unquestioning conformity of culture and thought.
For Dada artists, the aesthetic of their work was considered secondary to the ideas it conveyed. “For us, art is not an end in itself,” wrote Dada poet Hugo Ball, “but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in.”
Dadaists used many references to society and modern life in their art works, which included many art forms but significantly collage and comedy.
experimental, provocatively re-imagining what art and art making could be.
unusual materials such as collage, assemblage of found items and photomontage.
they questioned the idea of a work of art as something beautiful made by a technically skilled artist.
Marcelle Duchamp, Fountain, 1937, Urinal
Meret Openheim, Object, 1936. Fur-covered cup, saucer, and spoon
Surrealism (1924 - 1930
A movement that grew out of Dada. The
movement was based on dream images, the
unconscious mind, the irrational and fantasy.
Surrealism took two directions:
representational and abstract. Dali is a well known
From its beginnings, surrealism was influenced by the theories of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis.
Freud believed that many important thoughts and feelings are buried deep in the unconscious mind. Surrealist artists tried to liberate these buried thoughts and feelings and use them as subjects for their art. They claimed that the images produced by this process were actually more real than images seen by the eye in everyday life.
- dream like images
- fantastical creatures and scenarios
- 'automatic drawing' or doodling was a common theme
- strongly influenced by psychology
Salavador Dali, The Persistance of a Memory, 1931, Oil
Rene Magritte, The False Mirror,
Abstract Expressionism (1940 – 1950)
A style developed in the mid-20th century. It
emphasized form and colour rather than an
actual subject. Pollock and de Kooning, were
– Expressing emotions through colour, line and
shape were more important then having the
painting look like something
- large scale
- gestural, fluid application of paint
- aimed to express their inner thoughts about society at the time (post war)
- stylistically these artists work was quite different.
Jackson Pollock, Lavender Mist No. 1 – 1950 – Oil on canvas
Mark Rothko, No 61, 1951, oil on canvas
Pop Art (1950s)
An art movement that emerged in England
and the United States after 1950. Pop artists
use materials from the everyday world of
popular culture, such as comic strips, canned
goods, and science fiction. Andy Warhol and
Roy Lichtenstein were pop artists. Pop artists
made us look at the popular culture around us
- bright colours
- drew inspiration from popular culture such as tv, adverts, icons of the time and comic books.
- aimed to bring art into the lives of everyday people
- anti ABSTRACT art
- used processes such as mass production -WARHOL Screen printing.
Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans, 1961, Polymer Paint
Roy Lichenstein, Hopeless, 1963, acrylic on canvas
After Pop art came Op art or optical art. It used reduced geometrical forms with black and white contrast or bold colors. In the 70s Op art made it’s way into fashion. Op art did not become a mass-movement of modern art like Pop art but it did make its way into fashion of the 1960s.
– Geometrical forms/patterns
– Usually black and white
– Generally caused some kind of OPTICAL ILLUSION
Bridget Riley, Movement in Squares - 1941
Contemporary Art Late 1960s - NOW
• The term encompasses all artwork being done NOW.
• Anything from the late 1960’s to now.
• Usually contemporary art deals with issues that are
presently affecting our world.
• Can include painting, sculpture, computer-generated
work, installations, performance art, earth art,
murals, and multi-media works.
• Very engaging and pushing boundaries of perception.
Damien Hirst, 'Mother and Child (Divided)', 1993, a cow and calf bisected and preserved in four tanks of formaldehyde
Development of an artistic/distinctive style.
the artists frequently took their inspiration from current events
there was a lack of Unifying Style, Technique, or Subject Matter. Each artist from this movement worked very differently. However they did all convey emotion, and mood through their work.
Romantic art showed exotic, mysterious, monstrous, diseased, and even satanic subject matter.
Romantic artists convey PASSION
Art Nouveau 1890 to 1920
Art Nouveau was a movement that swept through the decorative arts and architecture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Nouveau was aimed at modernizing design, seeking to get away from previous 'historical art movements.' Artists drew inspiration from both organic and geometric forms, evolving elegant designs that united flowing, natural forms with more angular contours. The movement was committed to showing that fine arts, such as painting and sculpture, were not superior to craft-based decorative arts.
The style went out of fashion after it gave way to Art Deco in the 1920s.
Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo
Influenced by Japanese woodblock printing,
a popular style at that time.
Strong focus on patterned, flowing lines and floral backgrounds
Art forms were concerned with decorative elements.
Consider beautiful furniture, stained glass windows and an illustrative style in posters.
Art Deco 1920 - 1930
Art deco began in Europe, particularly Paris, in the early years of the 20th century, but didn't really take hold until after World War I (1918). It reigned until the outbreak of World War II (1943).
The Art Deco style is one of the easiest to identify since its sharp-edged looks and stylized geometrical decorative details are so distinctive.
geometric and angular shapes
chrome, glass, shiny fabrics, mirrors and mirror tiles
stylised images of aeroplanes, cars, cruise liners, skyscrapers
nature motifs - shells, sunrises, flowers
theatrical contrasts - highly polished wood and glossy black lacquer mixed with satin and furs