A brief reference to the most important artistic movements that influenced the history of painting, with some of the main exponents and features works. It happens often an artist has influenced and been influenced, more than one pattern. The artistic movements are arranged chronologically, to better understand the evolution of painting in history.
It started in the 15th century in Florence. Those projects deal with subjects mainly from the Bible, the Greek and Roman mythology, history, and modern life. For the first time the human body is praised, both in painting and sculpture.
Main exponents of Renaissance Art are: Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.
It developed over the last period of the Renaissance in Italy and especially in 1520. The term comes from the Latin “manierus” which means way. Unlike renaissance ideals, which were seeking the realistic depiction of natural proportions, the exponents of Mannerism reflect too distorted figures, mainly through the extension of human characteristics or using sophisticated attitudes to cultivate an emotional intensity.
Main exponents of Mannerism are: Parmigianino, Bronzino, Michelangelo, etc.
It is an artistic movement that began in 1550 in response to the sophisticated Mannerism and considers as ideal the Greco-Roman antiquity. The artists make a turn to ancient standards and ideals. Is a return to retro, suggesting coherent motion, gentle contrasts and strict contours.
Main exponents of classicism are: Nicolas Poussin, Annibale Carracci, Claude Lorrain, etc.
It started in early 1600 in Rome. The term probably comes from the Portuguese word “barocco”, which means irregular pearl and generally indicates the meaning of the unusual or extravagant shape. Baroque seeks to dazzle with volume, complex projects and burdensome luxury decoration, setting up the project and the theatrical style.
Main features of this movement are the exploitation of light and creating strong contrasts through intense shadings.
Main exponents of baroque are: Rubens, Anton van Dyck, Caravaggio, etc.
It was born in France in early 1700. The term comes from the French word “rocaille” meaning shell. Rococo projects try to capture the pleasant everyday scenes, with idyllic landscapes and people from the aristocracy in various occupations, escaping from the strict limits imposed by the church. The colors are soft and translucent with pastel tones, without deep shadows. Painting portraits was widespread at this time.
Main exponents of rococo are: Jean-Antoine Watteau, Boucher, Canaletto, etc.
It was born as a reaction to Baroque and Rococo, in 1760, in Rome. In neoclassical works is observed the superiority of shape instead of color, closed contours, the distinct design and the avoidance of violent color contrasts.
Main exponents of neoclassicism are: Anton Raphael Mengs, Jacques-Louis David, Ingres, etc.
It is an artistic movement that started in Germany around 1800. It is characterized by projects that have rich colors, contrasting colors and broad brushstrokes that do not closely follow the contours. The artists draw their subjects from the modern era and the environment with a special love for exotic themes and struggles of peoples for freedom.
Main exponents of romanticism are: Goya, Delacroix, Turner, etc.
It was born in France around 1840. It is the painting of reality. I paint what I see, what is real. Those works are characterized by the lack of grooming, as they present the matter as it really is without embellishing it. Beautiful shadows, vibrant colors spread with broad brushstrokes, things, animals and people realistically imprinted.
Main exponents of realism are: Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, etc.
It started in France in 1860 by a group of painters of the school of Barbizon, trying to come to a closer contact with nature. The term comes from the Latin word “natura” which means nature. It is a kind of realistic painting. Naturalists paint mainly landscapes and people coldly, and uninvolved, as an object.
Main exponents of naturalism are: Théodore Rousseau, Camille Corot, etc.
It was developed around 1870 in France. Main features of impressionism are vibrant colors, especially with use of basic colors, emphasis on the representation of light, small and often overt touches, rare use of black and for the first time painting in outdoors, which was favored by the discovery of pre-processed color.
Main exponents of impressionism are: Corot, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, etc.
It consists of various artistic movements that started around 1880 and are an extension of impressionism. Post-impressionist painters still retain the characteristics of impressionism, but seek to ensure greater emotionality in their works, without forming a group with common characteristics.
Main exponents of post-impressionism are: Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, etc.
It is an artistic movement that began around 1885 in France, from the painter Georges Seurat who wanted to study the color and apply impressionism scientifically. He created a kind of painting in which small dots of pure dye were mixed to give a particular color, e.g. dots of yellow and blue give green.
Main exponents of divisionism are: Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, etc.
It appeared around 1885. The term comes from the word “symbol”. In these works dominates the composition and the effort of expression of ideas by means of images.
Main exponents of symbolism are: Gustave Moreau, Klimt, Giorgio de Chirico, etc.
It was created around 1890. The movement comes from the French “Art Nouveau”, which means “New Art”. A key feature of the projects is the sophistication of form. Artists often use decorative shapes, floral patterns, Arabic and linear spirals.
Main exponents of art nouveau are: Alfons Mucha, Gustav Klimt, etc.
It is an artistic movement that was developed in 1900. Expressionism painters are removed from the depiction of reality and deal with the expression of thought and emotion. It is an art that expresses internal searches and mental agonies of artists through vivid colors, aggressive forms, complex compositions and the deformation of the human body and face.
Main exponents of expressionism are: Wassily Kandinsky, Edvard Munch, Kirchner, etc.
It appeared around 1905 in France and had a very short lifespan. The concept of Fauvism comes from the French word “fauve” meaning goat and should not be confused with the Greek word for “fear” (fovos). The name was given to a group of artists of the time who used to paint with ferocity. Those works are characterized by simplicity in forms and bright colors, with free touch in the canvas, compositions often with bold outlines and no prospects.
Main exponents of fauvism are: Matisse, Derain, etc.
It developed shortly before 1910 in Paris. The painters tried to capture views of the subject from different angles, with divisions and reassembling of objects into more abstract forms. Are some of the most obscure works and need experience and attention to evaluate.
Main exponents of cubism are: Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, etc.
It is an art movement that emerged during World War I, around 1915, in Switzerland. The origin of the term “Dadaism” is disputed until today. They chose random shapes and images, as well as various materials, such as wool, wood, photographs, paper, trash, creating ephemeral works that combined sculpture with painting.
Main exponents of Dadaism are: Francis Picabia, Marcel Janco, Jean Arp, etc.
It was born around 1920 in Paris in response to the Destructiveness of Dadaism. It was founded by the poet André Breton. Dreamy situations painted conventionally. Actual and realistic elements coexist in compositions that are beyond reason and imagination.
Main exponents of surrealism are: Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, etc.
It was created around 1925 in Berlin. The word Bauhaus comes from the German word “Bauhaus” which means “house of the architect”. Key features of Bauhaus were the simplicity, with particular emphasis on geometric forms and color. The school used the human individual effort in an industrial production that was previously completely standardized.
Main exponents of Bauhaus are: Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, etc.
It is an artistic movement born in New York around 1940. Those works are characterized by absolute freedom in color, theme, forms and shapes.
Main exponents of Abstract Expressionism are: Paul Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, etc.
It was developed around 1950. It was born mainly in response to the strict movement of abstract expressionism. The projects borrow themes from comics and advertisements, together with spontaneity and gentle disposition.
Main exponents of Pop Art are: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, etc.
It appeared around 1960. The term Op art comes from “Optical Art” and its purpose to challenge the viewer through visual fraud phenomena and optical illusions.
Main exponents of Op Art are: Bridget Riley, Victor Vasarely, MC Escher, etc.
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