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Art Movements

Art movements, relative time periods, and descriptions

MovementApproximate Time PeriodDescription
Byzantine 350-1400 Centered around Constantinople and Ravenna, Italy, and characterized by the use of the icon, a religious image.
Romanesque 1050-1200 Widespread, mainly architecrural style developed from a mix of Roman Christian art adn the Barbarian cultures of Northern Europe. Characterized by frescoes (paintings on wet plaster) and its use of rounded arches.
Gothic 1200-1500 The successor to Romanesque art, this style was characterized by soaring ceilings, pointed arches, and flying buttresses, which allowed the incorporation of large stained glass windows in cathedrals.
Renaissance 1300-1550 Meaning "rebirth," a significant Greco-Roman influence can be observed due to the revival of classical learning and art. First centered in Florence, it marked the end of the Middle Ages. Innovations of this time period include using oil-based paints and
Mannerism 1520-1650 Mainly an Italian style deriving from the pervasive influence of Raphael and Michelangelo. It was characterized by spatial imbalance and elongated figures and objects. Tintoretto was a Mannerist.
Baroque 1600-1720 This style drew off the exuberance of mannerism and was characterized by bold ornamentation and wild colors. Artists of this period include Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Rubens, Velasquez, Hals, and Van Dyck.
Rococo 1735-1765 An outgrowth of Baroque characterized as very delicate and exquisitely refined with elaborate and superficial decoration. Watteau was the major artist.
Neoclassicism 1750-1830 Developed in Revolutionary France, this was characterized by a revival of the Renaissance style in which Greco-Roman art was emulated. Classical subjects were used as an allegory to the political situation of the time. Artists included David and Ingres.
Romanticism 1820-1850 A reaction against the industrial revolution, it emphasized nature, emotion, and nationalism. Leading artists were Constable, Delacroix, and Gericault.
Realism 1840-1870 A largely French movement that attempted to portray the reality of life without the idealism and emotion of the Romantics. Courbet was the leader of this movement.
Impressionism 1875-1900 Artists tried to capture reality exactly as it appeared to the artist at one moment. It is concernd with light and its effects and the use of
Fauvism ("Wild Beast" 1905-1910 A short-lived but influential movement characterized by distorted forms and bold, brilliant, exuberant colors. Matisse was the main exponent of this movement.
Expressionism 1905-1930 In expressionism, reality is distorted to representan inner vision and heightened emotion. Works are characterized by bold brushwork and stylized forms. Munch and Gauguin were forerunners of the movement. Groups within expressionism included Dir Brucke
Cubism 1906-1930 New forms were created by dismantling objects or images and placing views from different angles in two dimensions. The style was developed by Picasso and Braque influenced by Cezanne's later works and also African tribal art. Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avi
Surrealism 1920-1940 Artists of this French avant-garde movement attempted to express imaginative dreams, because they were freed from the constraints of conscious controls. They drew off the Dadaist principles and the theories of Freud. Leading artists were Dali and Magrit
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