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Art History 101 - Art Movements in Europe and Western Art

The modern world is a visual one. We spend much of our time staring at our devices, processing images. The shift from verbal to visual thinking is happening fast. Art history is one way to prepare for this visual age. It's an excellent way to learn more about art and understand how it has evolved over time. Here's what you should know about art movements in Europe and Western art. We'll also look at the differences between these movements and their effects on art.


Art history is the study of aesthetic objects, visual expressions, and their historical contexts. The discipline covers ancient to modern times. You can learn about the history of art, as well as its importance and relevance today. Art history also provides an opportunity to learn about the culture and history of a particular region, country, or even world. Here are some of the main points to consider. How does art history affect our culture today? What are the ways art has influenced our way of life?

Art history has traditionally been divided into specializations, or concentrations, based on eras, regions, or media. These specializations are usually complemented by sub-fields, such as Asian art history and Indian art. The field also has expanded to encompass more modern media, including video and digital art. There are many sub-specializations, but there are some common features among all of them. Art historians typically focus on the history of art and its context in the Western world.

Art movements

Picasso's 'Still Life with Chair Cane' is a great example of the use of collage and oil cloth in an art movement. The artist printed a chair caning-like oil cloth on an oval canvas and pasted it on the canvas. Picasso then framed the work using rope. Cubism is the result of an artistic movement that is rooted in the use of geometric forms and flat surfaces to create radically fragmented objects. The Dada art movement also brought out the movement known as Surrealism. The Surrealists denounced the rationalist mindset and used their artistic abilities to recreate traditional subjects in increasingly fragmented compositions.

Symbolism began in the late 19th century, and was a reaction to the prevailing styles of the time. In France, artists were attempting to represent all classes, especially the poor, in a realistic way. In their paintings, they portrayed issues of social status and the Industrial Revolution. This kind of art was influenced by photography, which pushed Picasso to paint more realistically. The goal of the movement was to create art that was accessible to the masses.

Art movements in Western art

The term "Western art" refers to the areas of literature, visual arts, and performing arts that are influenced by European cultural traditions. It includes architecture, dance, music, sculpture, theatre, and literature. There are many different art movements that influenced each area. Art in each of these regions is categorized into different categories, such as the Romantic, Classical, and Modern movements. There are also specific literatures and dance movements that are associated with specific nations.

The twentieth-century art movement known as minimalism was an extension of artistic abstraction, which deliberately deviated from representations of reality, allowing viewers to make their own interpretations. The style focused on geometric shapes and was mostly used in painting and sculpture. In the 1960s, photorealism became popular, with painters and sculptors resembling photographs with meticulous attention to detail. While there was no single period of the 20th century that saw the emergence of different art movements, these styles still influence artists today.

Art movements in European art

The Art movements of Europe are largely based on a particular aesthetic style. The Impressionist style, which developed in France in the 1880s, is an example of this. It was characterized by its use of pure color and stylized images. Artists such as Pablo Picasso and Eugene Delacroix made use of these styles to create their paintings. These movements often rely on evocative imagery or the representation of everyday objects.

The 18th century saw the start of several art movements. Neoclassicism focuses on the ideals of classical Greece and Rome. This movement started in the mid-1800s and lasted until the early 20th century. It is closely associated with the works of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, but was also practiced by Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Alexander Archipenko, and Henri Laurens. In terms of subject matter, the Realists preferred scenes of everyday life and popular culture rather than exotic landscapes and mythology scenes.

Art movements in American art

There are several art movements in American history. For example, photorealism grew in popularity in the late 1960s and 1970s. Its primary focus was on photograph paintings, but artists eschewed spontaneity in favor of meticulous detail and technical ability. Often focused on imagery relating to consumerism, photorealism has also been referred to as "Sharp Focus Realism," "Super-Realism," and "New Realism."

The Abstract Expressionist movement began in the 1940s, in New York City. It was the first specifically American art movement to gain international influence, placing New York at the forefront of the Western art world. Jackson Pollock was the first to use the term "abstract expressionism" in 1919, and his paintings soon followed. Other prominent figures during the Abstract Expressionist period were Adolphe Saatchi, Robert Motherwell, and Robert Rauschenberg.

Art movements in Asian art

Contemporary art is a branch of the Western art world that focuses on modernity and progress. It emphasizes individuality, questioning social appearances, and general social assumptions. While the European and Asian art movements are spatially separated, some of their influences are common. For example, both Hiroshige and Degas use bird's eye perspectives to convey a sense of movement and immediacy. In both their paintings, Degas conveys the same sense of movement and immediacy.

Modern Asian art predates much of the art created by European and American artists. Ancient pottery, large bronze sculpture, sericulture, jade carving, lacquerware, and calligraphy were all first created in China. The Chinese also made major contributions to metalwork, painting, and terracotta sculpture. But, in the West, Asian art often lacks the recognition of the pioneers of modern art. And, despite the great contributions of Eastern artists, the Asian contemporary art world still lags behind Western art.

Art movements in Chinese art

After the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912, several art movements were underway in China. The first was the reform movement, which advocated Westernized styles of painting and traditional Chinese models. This resulted in a split in teaching styles. A few artists continued to experiment with Western techniques, while others embraced both. Nevertheless, the reform movement did not end up being as profound as it might have seemed.

One of the most significant types of Chinese artwork was landscape painting and calligraphy. These pieces depicted scenes from the mountains that were idealized but not necessarily true to nature. These mountains represented the idea of heaven and, as such, were meant to inspire and arouse viewers. Other types of Chinese artwork included landscapes, landscape paintings, and sculptures. These styles are divided into many different genres, each with a particular function.

Art movements in Russian art

Suprematism is one of the most important movements in Russian art. Its founder, Kazimir Malevich, was known for his love of art and influenced by the Rayonnists. Suprematism was a movement that sought to revolutionize the way art was created. Suprematist art focused on creating paintings without any composition and rooted in pure feeling. Malevich's works had major influences on other artists such as El Lissitzky and helped to catalyze Minimalism.

The Society for Itinerant Art Exhibitions was an organization formed in 1863 by talented Russian artists. Its members believed that art could help to promote social reform. These artists, called peredvizhniki (wanderers), travelled the country preaching reform and holding art exhibitions. They were progressive in their approach and their work, as well as in how they reached their audience. The movement was not limited to the countryside, however.

Art movements in Japanese art

There are many different types of Japanese art movements, ranging from traditional to modern. Traditional Japanese art is often depicted as relics of the past, while modern art works on a more contemporary level. Japanese artists often explore the relationship between nature and architecture. Many of today's contemporary artists are not internationally famous, but the works of the famous Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) are worth a look. His painting, The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, depicts the power of nature, while also showing the majestic Mount Fuji.

Japanese artists began to imitate Chinese art movements. Chinese art forms were rational and symmetrical, which Japanese artists adapted to a more modern style. The diagonal became a prominent structural device, which reflects natural flow and movement. While Chinese artists continued to employ symmetrical shapes and even numbers to create their works, Japanese artists began incorporating Western style elements into their own styles. These styles are known as Yoga and Nihonga.

Lisa Brooke-Taylor

I am passionate about 2 things, our customers success and helping public sector organisations better serve and protect citizens. Building relationships to understand their critical business issues, working with them to identify innovative and cost effective solutions to transform their organisations and maximise their investment. Many public sector organisations are already familiar with some Microsoft technologies, with our Mobile first, Cloud first vision, we can help deliver a truly flexible, mobile and productive platform for their workforce, enabling them to improve services to their customers.

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