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History of Art Styles

Ryn Shell

Blog #28 of 54




October 20th, 2017 - 09:27 AM

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History of Art Styles


Paleolithic (30,000BC-8000BC)
Neolithic (8000BC - 1000BC)
Bronze Age (2000BC - 1200BC)


Egyptian (3000BC - 332BC)
Sumerian, Assyrian, Persian (3000BC - 331BC)
Aegean (2000BC - 1100BC)
Greek (1100BC - 146BC)
Roman (146BC - 476AD)
Early Christian (313-600AD)
Byzantine (330-1453) - also from Persian culture
Romanesque (1000-1200)
Gothic (1137-1550) typically religious, distinctive arched design of churches - also from Islamic culture

International Gothic (1350-1480) more secular eg. de Fabriano, Witz, van Eyck,
Gothic Revival (1820-80)
Proto-Renaissance (1300-1420) eg. Giotto

Early Renaissance (1420-1490) eg. Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Francesca, Botticelli
Renaissance in northern Italy

Mantegna - (1431-1506) the master of perspective and the fore-shortened figure
Foppa (1427-1515)
Da Vinci (1452-1519)
Giorgione - painted the 1st "reclining nude" in 1507, creating a new genre
Titian (Venice - 1490-1576) - influenced the Lombards & Caravaggio
Brescian artists Moroni, Moretto & Savoldo (1480-1550) who specialised in the study of light & was a precursor to Caravaggesque luminism
Renaissance in northern Europe (1495-1580) eg. Durer, Hans Holbein, Brueghel
High Renaissance (1490-1520) calm, ordered eg. Michelangelo, Raphael Mannerism (1520-80) tension, discord following scientific discoveries and Calvinist Reformation & Counter-Reformation of the Christian Church.

examples of Mannerists:

late Michelangelo (Florence) - anti-classical
Tintoretto (Venice)
El Greco (Spain)
late Raphael - respectful of classicism, achieved a perfect synthesis of form and colour with the most expressive results.

northern Lombard naturalism:
in Lombardy, a more expressive style of Mannerism flourished, based on regional peculiarities that had already been evident in previous centuries. Artists endeavoured to avoid stylistic compromise, preferring simplicity & attention to naturalistic detail, following on from the Renaissance painter Foppa, who, in the 15thC, was interested in the perception of the fluctuating effects of light and shadow, and noted for his lively, realistic representation & Da Vinci who had arrived at a representation of truth founded largely on scientific investigation and was the 1st artist to concern himself with expressing the feelings of the people he depicted.
in the 1580's, the Lombard painters flocked to the more culturally rich Rome and Pope Sixtus V who was an art lover
Carracci academy Bologna's naturalism (1585-88)
return to Lombardy naturalism in opposition to the artificiality in late Mannerist art.
the origins of the still life (late 16th C):
a return to easel painting instead of frescos in order to capture the immediacy of real life events combined with Flemish experiences of portraying natural detail and a sense of three-dimensionality led to the "still life". Use of actual models.
Caravaggio (southern Italy d1610) - studied the movements and spontaneous reactions of people in a manner far removed from the captiousness that so often pervaded Mannerism
late Roman Mannerism (1585-1600):
Pope Sixtus V (1585-90) overseas the reconstruction of Rome and imposed on artists a homogeneous style of figuration that reinforced the work's overall moral purpose. For the 1st time, Flemish influences were seen in Italian art. eg. da Reggio
Baroque (1580-1750) heavy, theatrical, dynamic, emotional, often violent
during the 1620's, painters throughout Europe were alerted to the news emanating from Rome: the revolutionary art of the late Caravaggio who achieved astonishingly realistic effects through the use of diagonal light, corresponded with a rapid expressive development of the Baroque style & the result was a lavish tour de force of colour & animation.
examples of Baroque:

Rubens (Flemish - 1577-1640 - dominated the Antwerp school) after trip to Rome in 1601, recognised Rome could offer a wealth of old & new material, which he converted it into "Baroque" form. He linked this with Titianesque colour & Caravaggesque chiaroscuro, and was fascinated by the power of Caravaggio's religious paintings but had little admiration for his figurative compositions.
Utrecht School (Catholic Dutch) - inspired by Caravaggio
Rembrandt (Calvinist Dutch d1669), his portraits tended to be character studies of a more psychological nature. He is one of the greatest engravers of all time.
Velasquez - strongly influenced by Caravaggio
Gentileschi - strongly influenced by Caravaggio, famed for his female nudes in particular
La Tour - St Mary Magdalene with candle1635
Rococo (1700-90) King Louis XV; dainty, charming often based on motifs from shells eg. Watteau, Fragonard, Boucher, Tiepolo
Classicism (1550-1760) return to calm Renaissance style eg. Poussin, Le Lorrain
English 18thC (1760-1800) eg. Reynolds, Gainsborough, Hogarth
Victorian Classicism (1840-1900)
Neo-Classicism (1780-1840) American & French revolutions style - a severe, unemotional form of art harkening back to the style of ancient Greece and Rome eg. David
19thC European Academic
Romanticism (1800-1900) reaction against neo-classicism - a deeply-felt style which is individualistic, beautiful, exotic, and emotionally wrought. eg. Goya, Constable, Hudson River School, Turner, Friedrich Symbolism (late 19thC) spooky mysticism eg. Moreau, Redon,

Expressionism (see below)

Australian Colonial (1831-1885) eg. Glover, Martens, Buvelot

Contemporary Australian (1939-) eg. Dobell, Drysdale, Nolan, Boyd

Pre-Raphaelitism (1848-1900) return to early Renaissance eg. Hunt, Millais, Rossetti Golden Age of Illustration (1880-1930) eg. Rackham, Crane, Dulac, Beardsley, Pyle

British Arts and Crafts movement (late 19thC) craftsmanship & design
Art Nouveau (1880-1920) elegant decorative; intricate curved lines eg. Klimt
Art Deco (1920-1940)
Realism (1850-80) rejected academic artificiality, historical fantasy & romantic exaggeration eg. Manet, Courbet, Daumier
Impressionism (1870-90) capture transient light on scenes eg. Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Degas
Australian Impressionism (1885-) eg. Heidelberg School (Roberts, McCubbin, Streeton, Conder); Hans Heysen, Gruner; Meldrum;
Les Nabis (1889-99) tried to connect Impressionism with theories of Gaugin eg. Bonnard, Vuillard
Precisionism / Cubist Realism (1920-1940) realistic rendering of objects but emphasising geometric form eg. Sheeler, Demuth
Social Realism (1930-1940) eg. Rivera
Magic Realism (1943-1960) overtones of fantasy & wonder eg. Cadmus, Evergood, Albright, Tooker
Photo-realism (1965-1980) eg. Kacere
Contemporary Realism (1965-) eg. Wyeth
Modern Primitivism (late 19thC) eg. Rousseau
Modern Architecture (1880 onwards)
Post-impressionism (1880 onwards) underlying structure, emotional use of colour & scientific approach to patterns eg. van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, Seurat
Pointillism (1880's) brush-style using tiny dots of primary colors to create secondary colours eg. Seurat
Fauvism (1905 onwards) "wild animal" unrestrained freedom of artistic expression to bring emotionalism into art eg. Matisse, Dufy Expressionism (1908 onwards) highly personal expression of psyche eg. Roualt, Munch

Blaue Reiter (1911-13) eg. Marc
The Bauhaus Painters (1919-33) eg. Feininger, Klee, Kandisnsky - also from Cubism
Kinetic Art (1920 onwards)
Dadaism (1916-22) eg. Arp, Duchamp, Ernst
Surrealism (1924-39) "super-real" dream-like eg. Dali, Miro

Abstract Expressionism (1947 onwards) rejection of natural form of objects eg. Pollock, Kline
Colour-Field (1948 onwards) large flat areas of colour eg. Rothko
Op Art / Optical Art (1955 onwards) optical illusions eg. Vasarely, Uecker, Riley
Cubism (1907-25) geometric shapes as basis for art eg Picasso, Gris
Futurism (1909-20) dynamic sensation of motion & speed eg. Severini, Boccioni, Balla
Suprematism (1913-1918) eg. Malevich;
Australian Post-Impressionism (1913-) eg. Wakelin, Bell, Shore, Frater, de Maistre;
Purism (1918-) eg. Le Corbusier, Ozenfant
Neo-Plasticism / De Stilj (1917-44) 2D geometric eg. Mondrian
Geometric Abstraction (1932 onwards) Hard Edge Abstraction (1955 onwards) eg. Albers, Kelly;

Minimalism (1960's-) objects stripped down to geometric form & represented impersonally eg. Kelly
Pop Art (1953 onwards) explores the everyday imagery which is part of contemporary consumer culture eg. Warhol, Lichtenstein, Wesselmann, Rosenquist


I travel extensively to draw inspiration for my paintings and writing from life experience.
You will discover my Australian rural-lit novels at www.rural-lit.com

​Ryn Shell.

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