Paleolithic, meaning "Old Stone Age" is a term used to define the oldest period in human history. It began about two million years ago, with the use of the first stone tools. Minerals and plants were used to make colors for the paintings seen in caves. Mesolithic is the period of middle stone age, from about 10,000 - 5,000BC. This is a period when humans developed new techniques of stone working. Art that has survived from this era is small statuette size works and paintings in shallow shelter caves. Neolithic period is also referred to as the new stone age. It began when man first developed agriculture and settled in permanent villages. It ended with the discovery of bronze. The prime medium for this period was pottery. Megalithic monuments also arose in this period. The most well-known of these monuments being Stonehenge. Prehistoric 100,000BC - 1000BC
Greek art and architecture has lasting influence with its simplicity and reasonableness on the history of Western civilization and art. Greeks stated many of the permanent themes, attitudes, and forms of Western culture. Nude human figures in Greek art reflect the belief that "man is the measure of all things." Many of the structural elements, decorative motifs, and building types that were established in Ancient Greece are still used in architecture today. Greek 800BC - 200AD
Roman art was strongly influenced by Etruscan and Ancient Greek art, although it lacked the basic sense of rational order and structural composition of the Greek models. As Rome's rule on the ancient bolls grew it was influenced by other countries like Ancient Egypt and the Sassanid Empire. The Romans depicted warriors and heroic adventures, in the spirit of the Greeks who came during and before them. The Romans were a practical people; in their original works, observation was key; portrait sculptures are often meticulously detailed and unidealized. Roman 120BC - 400AD
Roman and German art mixed in the early middle ages to create a new form, which we call medieval art. Medieval art is usually divided into several different phases, each of which were expressed differently in different countries. The architecture during this period had a very heavy, substantial, impressive feel, while the sculpture was very abstract, combining stiff, formal forms in some places with fantastic carvings of real and imaginary animals. Art historians classify Medieval art into major periods and movements. They are Early Christian art, Migration Period art, Celtic art, Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque art, Gothic art, Byzantine art and Islamic art. Medieval art includes many mediums, and was especially strong in sculpture, Illuminated manuscripts and mosaics. There were many unique genres of art, such as Crusade art or animal style. Medieval 300ad - 1200ad
Renaissance marks the period of European history at the close of the middle ages and rise of the modern world. The High Renaissance period has been characterized by explosion of creative genius. Painting especially reached its peak of technical competence, rich artistic imagination and heroic composition. The main characteristics of High Renaissance paintings are harmony and balance in construction. Renaissance Classicism was a form of art that removed the extraneous detail and showed the world as is was. Forms, colors and proportions, light and shade effects, spatial harmony, composition, perspective, anatomy - all are handled with total control and a level of accomplishment for which there are no real precedents. Renaissance 1400's - 1500's
The Baroque style used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music. This style started around 1600 in Italy and spread to most of Europe. In music, it applies to the final period of dominance of imitative counterpoint, where different voices and instruments echo each other but at different pitches. The popularity and success of Baroque was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church, which had decided that the arts should communicate religious themes in direct and emotional involvement. Baroque 1600's
18th Century The term "Rococo" describes a movement in the arts in the early 18th century, in France. Rococo was born from the Baroque era, during the age of Enlightenment. That was a time when new ideas about human existence were introduced and Rococo art is the visual representation of the optimism people felt in response to that. Rococo style is characterized by pastel colors, gracefully delicate curving forms, fanciful figures, and a lighthearted mood.
19th Century The 19th century was a time of "isms". Romanticism, Realism, Post Impressionism, and Symbolism were the styles emerging from artists during this time. Romanticism is an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in Western Europe. It stresses strong emotion as a source of aesthetic experience, placing emphasis on emotions such as trepidation, horror, and the awe felt in everyday life. The Romantic period also gave way to beautiful music, poetry, and plays. Realism came about with the introduction of photography. This style of art is meant to depict people as they appear in every day life. Truth and accuracy was the goal of the artists. Realism was heavily against romanticism. Realism believed in objective reality and revolted against exaggerated emotionalism. Post Impressionism is a term coined by the British artist and art critic, Roger Fry (1914). It was used to describe the development of European art since Monet. Post Impressionists used vivid colors, thick applications of paint, distinctive brushstrokes, and real - life subject manner, but they were more inclined to emphasize geometric forms, to distort form for expressive effects, and to use unnatural or arbitrary color. Symbolists believed that art should aim to capture more absolute truths which could only be accessed by indirect methods. Symbolist painters mined mythology and dream imagery for a visual language of the soul, seeking evocative paintings that brought to mind a static world of silence.
Modern 20th Century (1900's) Modern art is a general used term for most of the artistic production from the late 19th century until approximately the 1970's. Modern art refers to the then new approach to art where it was no longer important to represent a subject realistically - the invention of photography made this function of art almost obsolete. Artists started experimented with new ways of seeing, with fresh ideas about the nature, materials and functions of art, often moving further towards abstraction. Influences of modernism include, but are not limited to, impressionism, post-impressionism, and symbolism. Well known artists of this time include Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Georgia O'Keeffe.
Contemporary Contemporary art refers to recently produced visual art. This type of art includes modern architecture, digital imaging, new age video and music, etc. Contemporary art can be described in superficial terms. These would include superficial characteristics such as the medium used and technique. As contemporary art is fairly recently made, its place in the history of art is largely unsettled. It's quite possible that a work of contemporary art will never find a meaningful place in the history of art.
More Info Prehistoric: http://www.huntfor.com/arthistory/prehistoric/paleolithic.htm http://www.huntfor.com/arthistory/prehistoric/mesolithic.htm http://www.huntfor.com/arthistory/prehistoric/neolithic.htm Greek: http://www.huntfor.com/arthistory/ancient/anc_greek.htm Roman: http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/ent/A0860778.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Art Medieval: http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/art/index.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_art *Photos from sites listed*
More Info Renaissance: http://www.huntfor.com/arthistory/renaissance/highren.htm Baroque: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baroque 18 th Century: http://www.huntfor.com/arthistory/c17th-mid19th/rococo.htm 19 th Century: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanticism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_Impressionism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbolism_%28arts%29 Modern: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_art Contemporary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_art *Photos from sites listed*