Chapter 10 Art History Louise Bourgeois, The Nest, 1994 Cave Paintings
Ancient Art The most famous cave paintings are those found within the Lascaux caves of France. Painted with earth pigments of red and yellow ochre and charcoal mixed with animal fat, they are extraordinary examples of the artistic capabilities of prehistoric men. The images combine their creator's understanding of the animal forms, an elegant sense of line, and vigorous gesture. It is a widely held belief among anthropologists that these paintings had a magical purpose for the tribal societies that created them. Painted deep within the caves, these caverns were sacred spaces. It is very possible that, within this earthly womb, the tribes performed magic rituals related to the hunt.
Egyptian Art A constant feature of Egyptian painting style is the twisted perspective of figures with head, torso and legs depicted in profile, and eyes and shoulders depicted frontally. Notice also the hierarchal scale within the painting at the top, which pictures the king in enlarged scale with his servant at a much smaller scale, according to their relative importance. The painting on the bottom depicts the mummification of the king.
Greek Art The Parthenon , Athens, Greece 447-432 BCE
Renaissance Art The Italian Renaissance was an artistic movement that began in the 14th century in Italian cities such as Florence and Venice. The term Renaissance referred to a re-birth or revival of the Classical arts and learning. The Renaissance was characterized by the concept of naturalism inspired by a renewed interest in the classical art of Ancient Rome. Renaissance art involved the absorption of Classical patterns and compositions and a conscious return to the values and standards of Classical art. The most notable artists of the Italian Renaissance are – Giotto Brunelleschi Masaccio Piero della Francesca Donatello Andrea Mantegna Botticelli Leonardo da Vinci Michelangelo Raphael Masaccio’s Adam and Eve
Masaccio, The Holy Trinity, church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, fresco, 1425 Donatello, David, bronze, 1444-46 da Vinci, Mona Lisa, oil Michelangelo, The Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel, Rome, 1508-12
Chiaroscuro Chiaroscuro - lighting effects using stark, dramatic lighting against a dark background Artemisia Gentilleschi, Judith and the Maidservant, oil,
Post Renaissance Fragonnard, the Swing, 1766 Rococo was the favored style of French aristocracy and royalty. It is characterized by frivolous themes, mostly pictures of the upper class enjoying their life of ease and privileged status Neoclassicism Led by Jacques Louis David, was a reaction to the frivolous style of the French Rococo. David and his followers represented the ideals of the French Revolution and they desired an art form which was dignified and reflected their serious concerns. Opposing the flowery and decorative compositions of the Rococo, their work stresses rationality and clearly delineated forms.
Another style of the 19th century is known as Romanticism. Those who followed this trend felt that portrayal of emotion was more important than rationality. They generally preferred a more dramatic and painterly approach. Eugene Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People, 1830 Realism - The realists were opposed to the often mythological character of many Neoclassical and Romantic artworks. Their basic philosophy is that one should paint what one sees with their own eyes and leave any mythological or overly dramatic content out of the picture.
Contemporary Art Impressionism Post Impressionism Pointillism Expressionism Cubism Surrealism Abstract Expressionism Pop Art Op Art Minimal Earth Art Performance Art
Impressionism A painting movement of sometimes varying styles which began in mid-19th century France. The Impressionists in general are known for painting out of doors in a direct and painterly manner. Impressionism was a movement whose participants wanted to explore new ways of depicting light and color and new techniques in brushwork. Monet, Parliament, oil, 1904 Degas, Green Dancer, pastel, 1906 Mary Cassatt, The Bath, 1891, oil
Post Impressionism Post Impressionism is a term which is less easy to define than Impressionism. Though the impressionists differed in personal styles and favorite subjects, one thing which was consistent between the artists was their interest in the transitory effects of light and spontaneous compositions. Though the post-impressionists are also concerned with light, it is not as much of a central concern and their personal styles differ greatly. Post-Impressionism generally existed in the 1880's including artists such as Cezanne, Gauguin, Seurat, and Van Gogh and tended to be less naturalistic than Impressionistic. Van Gogh, Starry Night, 1889, oil Gauguin, 1885, oil
Pointillism Seurat and others began the Pointillist movement, which carried the color and optical ideas of the Impressionists to an almost scientific extreme, consisting of tiny dots of color. Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte, 1884-85, oil
Expressionism The beginning of Expressionism took place in Germany, around the time of the first World War. Their primary concern was the expression of deeply felt emotions, they would also transform their negative feelings about the war onto canvas. Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893, oil
Cubism Cubism dealt mainly with space - inspired by African sculpture - the disintegration of traditional illusionistic space in art. In Cubism, the subject is reduced to planes and interlocking geometric forms which reflect the subtle shifts of time and multiple perspectives. Picasso, Portrait of Fernando, 1909
Surrealism The artistic style of surrealism began as an official movement shortly after the end of the first world war. Surrealistic painters had wildly divergent styles, but some of the elements they had in common were: the effect of the subconscious and dreams in art; the importance of the element of chance in art; the idea of an absolute, or 'super-reality' in art. The most famous exponent of Surrealism was Salvador Dali; other Surrealists were Joan Miro, Max Ernst, and Rene Magritte. Dali, Persistence of Memory, 1931 Magritte’s Empire of the Lights (1954), right, is more subtle in its playfulness. It may take a moment for viewers to realize that the daytime sky does not fit the lighting situation of the night scene below.
Abstract Expressionism Abstract Expressionism began in the 1940's. Common elements included a certain spiritual nature of the work, the elements of chance and the unconscious, and the absence or distortion of objective reality. The movement was at its height during the early 1950's Jackson Pollock, detail of Autumn Rhythm, 1950 Mark Rothko, Magenta, Green, Black on Orange, 1949
Pop Art Pop Art is well-known as a late 1950's, early 1960's art movement and was a reaction to Abstract Expressionism and the new consumer culture in the United States. Pop artists generally wanted to make art that was 'cool' as opposed to the strong emotion of Abstract Expressionism; Images were generally taken from advertising and the contemporary world. Robert Rauschenberg Andy Warhol, Marilyn, screen print
Minimal Art Minimalism began in the 1960's, predominantly in the United States. Its main thesis is "less is more," a reaction against the highly emotional nature of Abstract Expressionism. Large sculptures and paintings consist of bare geometric forms - squares, cubes, sometimes in more complex arrangements, and often limited in color. Donald Judd, Untitled, 1977 Donald Judd, Untitled, 1969
Earth Art This international movement began in the 1960’s - 1970's, and used the natural world as its material and content, generally making large 'earthworks'. Environmental artists work as individuals, rather than as part of an organized art movement. Earthworks consist of natural materials, such as large rocks, arranged in patterns over a large and perhaps isolated area, such as left, Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson. Andy Goldsworthy
Performance Art Sometimes, the artist is part of the installation, in which case the installation becomes performance art. The term "Performance Art" got its start in the 1960s in the United States. It was originally used to describe any live artistic event that included poets, musicians, and film makers in addition to visual artists. It's worth noting that, even though we're referencing the 1960s here, there were earlier precedents for Performance Art. The live performances of the Dadaists, in particular, meshed poetry and the visual arts. The German Bauhaus, founded in 1919, included a theater workshop to explore relationships between space, sound and light - a good 20 years before the 1960s. Stephen Taylor Woodrow: "The Living Paintings", artist and friends at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, NYC, 1988.