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"The Creation of Adam (1508–1512), by "Michelangelo, in the "Sistine Chapel

The history of art focuses on objects made by humans in visual form for "aesthetic purposes. "Visual art "can be classified in diverse ways, such as separating "fine arts from "applied arts; inclusively focusing on human creativity; or focusing on different media such as "architecture, "sculpture, "painting, "film, "photography, and "graphic arts. In recent years, technological advances have led to "video art, "computer art, "Performance art, "animation, "television, and "videogames.

The history of art is often told as a chronology of "masterpieces created during each "civilization. It can thus be framed as a story of "high culture, epitomized by the "Wonders of the World. On the other hand, "vernacular art expressions can also be integrated into art historical narratives, referred to as "folk arts or "craft. The more closely that an art historian engages with these latter forms of "low culture, the more likely it is that they will identify their work as examining "visual culture or "material culture, or as contributing to fields related to art history, such as "anthropology or "archaeology. In the latter cases art objects may be referred to as "archeological artifacts.



"Aurochs on a cave painting in "Lascaux, France

The oldest human art that has been found dates to the "Stone Age, when the first creative works were made from shell, stone, and paint. During the Paleolithic (25,000–8,000 BCE), humans practiced "hunting and gathering and lived in "caves, where "cave painting was developed.[1] During the Neolithic period (6000–3000 BCE), the production of "handicrafts commenced.

The earliest human artifacts showing evidence of workmanship with an artistic purpose are the subject of some debate. It is clear that such workmanship existed by 40,000 years ago in the "Upper Paleolithic era, although it is quite possible that it began earlier. Engraved shells created by "homo erectus dating as far back as 500,000 years ago have been found, although experts disagree on whether these engravings can be properly classified as ‘art’.[2]


The "Paleolithic had its first artistic manifestation in 25,000 BCE, reaching its peak in the "Magdalenian period (±15,000–8,000 BCE). Surviving art from this period includes small carvings in stone or bone and "cave painting. The first traces of human-made objects appeared in southern "Africa, the "Western Mediterranean, "Central and "Eastern "Europe ("Adriatic Sea), "Siberia ("Baikal Lake), "India and "Australia. These first traces are generally worked stone ("flint, "obsidian), wood or "bone tools. To "paint in "red, "iron oxide was used. Cave paintings have been found in the "Franco-Cantabrian region. There are pictures that are "abstract as well as pictures that are "naturalistic. Animals were painted in the caves of "Altamira, "Trois Frères, "Chauvet and "Lascaux. "Sculpture is represented by the so-called "Venus figurines, feminine figures which may have been used in "fertility cults, such as the "Venus of Willendorf.[3] There is a theory that these figures may have been made by women as expressions of their own body.[4] Other representative works of this period are the Man from "Brno[5] and the "Venus of Brassempouy.[6]


Reconstruction of a "cave painting at "Roca dels Moros, "El Cogul

The "Neolithic period began in about 8,000 BCE. The "rock art of the Iberian Mediterranean Basin—dated between the Mesolithic and Neolithic eras—contained small, schematic paintings of human figures, with notable examples in "El Cogul, Valltorta, "Alpera and Minateda.

Neolithic painting is similar to paintings found in northern "Africa ("Atlas, "Sahara) and in the area of modern Zimbabwe. Neolithic painting is often schematic, made with basic strokes (men in the form of a "cross and women in a "triangular shape). There are also cave paintings in "Pinturas River in "Argentina, especially the "Cueva de las Manos. In "portable art, a style called "Cardium Pottery was produced, decorated with imprints of "seashells. New materials were used in art, such as "amber, "crystal, and "jasper. In this period, the first traces of urban planning appeared, such as the remains in "Tell as-Sultan ("Jericho), "Jarmo (Iraq) and "Çatalhöyük ("Anatolia).[7]

Metal Age[edit]

"Stonehenge, a complex "megalith

The last prehistoric phase is the Metal Age, during which the use of "copper, "bronze and "iron transformed ancient societies. When humans could smelt metal and forge metal implements could make new tools, weapons, and art.

In the "Chalcolithic (Copper Age) "Megaliths emerged, and massive monuments of stone were built. Examples include the "dolmen and "menhir and the "English cromlech, as can be seen in the complexes at "Newgrange and "Stonehenge.[8] In Spain the "Los Millares culture was formed, characterized by the "Beaker culture, characterized by human figures with big eyes. In "Malta, the "temple complexes of "Ħaġar Qim, "Mnajdra, "Tarxien and "Ġgantija were built. In the "Balearic Islands notable megalithic cultures developed, with different types of monuments: the "naveta, a tomb shaped like a truncated "pyramid, with an elongated burial chamber; the "taula, two large stones, one put vertically and the other horizontally above each other; and the "talaiot, a tower with a covered chamber and a false "dome.[9]

In the "Iron Age the cultures of "Hallstatt ("Austria) and "La Tene ("Switzerland) emerged in Europe. The first was developed between the 7th and 5th century BCE by the "necropoleis with tumular tombs and a wooden burial chamber in the form of a house, often accompanied by a four-wheeled cart. The pottery was "polychromic, with "geometric decorations and applications of metallic ornaments. La Tene was developed between the 5th and 4th century BCE, and is more popularly known as early "Celtic art. It produced many iron objects such as "swords and "spears, which have not survived well to the 2000s due to rust.

The "Bronze Age refers to the period when bronze was the best material available. Bronze was used for highly decorated "shields, "fibulas, and other objects, with different stages of evolution of the style. Decoration was influenced by "Greek, "Etruscan and "Scythian art.[10]

Ancient Mediterranean[edit]

Splint on "Flood myth, of the "Epic of Gilgamesh

In the first period of recorded history, art coincided with "writing. The great civilizations of the "Near East: "Egypt and "Mesopotamia arose. Globally, during this period the first great cities appeared near major rivers: the "Nile, "Tigris and "Euphrates, "Indus and "Yellow Rivers.

One of the great advances of this period was writing, which was developed from the tradition of communication using pictures. The first true writing was "cuneiform script, which emerged in Mesopotamia c. 3500 BCE, written on "clay tablets. It was based on "pictographic and "ideographic elements, while later Sumerians developed "syllables for writing, reflecting the "phonology and "syntax of the "Sumerian language. In Egypt "hieroglyphic writing was developed using pictures as well, appearing on art such as the "Narmer Palette (3,100 BCE).

Ancient Near East art[edit]

A ziggurat: the Open Court (1887)

"Mesopotamian art was developed in the area between "Tigris and "Euphrates Rivers in modern day "Syria and "Iraq, where since the 4th millennium BCE many different cultures existed such as "Sumer, "Akkad, "Amorite and "Chaldea. "Mesopotamian architecture was characterized by the use of "bricks, "lintels, and cone mosaic. Notable are the "ziggurats, large "temples in the form of "step pyramids. The tomb was a chamber covered with a false "dome, as in some examples found at "Ur. There were also "palaces walled with a terrace in the form of a ziggurat, where gardens were an important feature. The "Hanging Gardens of Babylon was one of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

"Relief sculpture was developed in "wood and "stone. Sculpture depicted religious, military, and hunting scenes, including both human and animal figures. In the Sumerian period, small statues of people were produced. These statues had an angular form and were produced from colored stone. The figures typically had bald head with hands folded on the chest. In the Akkadian period, statues depicted figures with long hair and beards, such as the "stele of "Naram-Sin. In the Amorite period (or Neosumerian), statues represented kings from "Gudea of "Lagash, with their mantle and a turban on their heads and their hands on their chests. During Babylonian rule, the stele of "Hammurabi was important, as it depicted the great king Hammurabi above a written copy of the laws that he introduced. Assyrian sculpture is notable for its "anthropomorphism of cattle and the "winged genie, which is depicted flying in many reliefs depicting war and hunting scenes, such as in the "Black Obelisk of "Shalmaneser III.[11]

"Pyramids of "Giza


In "Egypt, one of the first great civilizations arose, which had elaborate and complex works of art which were produced by professional artists and craftspeople, who developed specialized skills. Egypt's art was religious and symbolic. Given that the culture had a highly centralized power structure and hierarchy, a great deal of art was created to honour the "pharaoh, including great monuments. Egyptian culture emphasized the religious concept of immortality. Later Egyptian art includes "Coptic and "Byzantine art.

The "architecture is characterized by monumental structures, built with large stone blocks, lintels, and solid "columns. Funerary monuments included "mastaba, tombs of rectangular form; "pyramids, which included step pyramids ("Saqqarah) or smooth-sided pyramids ("Giza); and the "hypogeum, underground tombs ("Valley of the Kings). Other great buildings were the "temple, which tended to be monumental complexes preceded by an avenue of "sphinxes and "obelisks. Temples used "pylons and "trapezoid walls with "hypaethros and "hypostyle halls and "shrines. The temples of "Karnak, "Luxor, "Philae and "Edfu are good examples. Another type of temple is the "rock temple, in the form of a "hypogeum, found in "Abu Simbel and "Deir el-Bahari.

Painting of the Egyptian era used a juxtaposition of overlapping planes. The images were represented hierarchically, i.e., the Pharaoh is larger than the common subjects or enemies depicted at his side. Egyptians painted the outline of the head and limbs in profile, while the torso, hands, and eyes were painted from the front. "Applied arts were developed in Egypt, in particular "woodwork and "metalwork. There are superb examples such as "cedar furniture "inlaid with "ebony and "ivory which can be seen in the tombs at the "Egyptian Museum. Other examples include the pieces found in "Tutankhamun's tomb, which are of great artistic quality.[12]

Greek and Etruscan[edit]

"Greek and "Etruscan artists built on the artistic foundations of Egypt, further developing the arts of sculpture, painting, architecture, and ceramics. The body became represented in a more representational manner, and patronage of art thrived. Greek art started as smaller and simpler than Egyptian art, and the influence of Egyptian art on the Greeks started in the Cycladic islands between 3300-3200 B.C.E. "Cycladic statues were simple, lacking facial features except for the nose.

Greek art eventually included life-sized statues, such as "Kouros figures. The standing Kouros of Attica is typical of early Greek sculpture and dates from 600 B.C.E. From this early stage, the art of Greece moved into the "Archaic Period. Sculpture from this time period includes the characteristic "Archaic smile. This distinctive smile may have conveyed that the subject of the sculpture had been alive or that the subject had been blessed by the gods and was well.


"Roman art is sometimes viewed as derived from Greek precedents, but also has its own distinguishing features. Roman sculpture is often less idealized than the Greek precedents. Roman architecture often used "concrete, and features such as the round "arch and "dome were invented.

Roman artwork was influenced by the nation-state's interaction with other people's, such as ancient "Judea. A major monument is the Arch of Titus, which was erected by the Emperor Titus. Scenes of Romans looting the Jewish temple in Jerusalem are depicted in low-relief sculptures around the arch's perimeter.



Interior of the "Hagia Sophia in "Istanbul, "Turkey

With the decline of the "Roman Empire, the "Medieval era began, lasting for a millennium. "Early Christian art begins the period, followed by "Byzantine art, "Anglo-Saxon art, "Viking art, "Ottonian art, "Romanesque art and "Gothic art, with "Islamic art dominating the eastern Mediterranean.

In Byzantine and "Gothic art of the "Middle Ages, the dominance of the church resulted in a large amount of religious art. There was extensive use of gold in paintings, which presented figures in simplified forms.

Renaissance and Baroque[edit]

The "Renaissance is the return to a valuation of the material world, and this paradigm shift is reflected in art forms, which show the corporeality of the human body, and the three-dimensional reality of "landscapes. Art historians often "periodize Renaissance art by century, especially with "Italian art."Italian Renaissance and "Baroque art is traditionally referred to by centuries: "trecento for the fourteenth century, "quattrocento for the fifteenth, "cinquecento for the sixteenth, and "seicento for the seventeenth.

Neoclassicalism to Realism[edit]

The 18th and 19th centuries included "Neoclassicism, "Romanticism, and "Realism in art.

Middle Eastern[edit]


The pre-Islamic art from the "Arabic Peninsula is very similar to ancient Egyptian art. Pre-Islamic "Yemen presents us with stylized "alabaster heads of great aesthetic and historic charm. They came from a culture referred to in the Bible when the Queen of Sheba visits King Solomon bringing with her immense treasures of Arabia. Most of the pre-Islamic sculptures are made of "alabaster.


Some branches of Islam "forbid depictions of people and other sentient beings, as they may be misused as idols. Religious ideas are thus often represented through geometric designs and "calligraphy. However, there are many Islamic paintings which display religious themes and scenes of stories common among the three Abrahamic "monotheistic faiths of "Islam, "Christianity, and "Judaism.


"Olmec, jade Kunz Axe, first described by "George Kunz in 1890. Although shaped like an axe head, with an edge along the bottom, it was likely used in ritual settings. At a height of 28 cm (11 in), it is one of the largest jade objects ever found in Mesoamerica, "American Museum of Natural History

The history of art in the Americas begins in "pre-Columbian times with "Indigenous cultures. Art historians have focused particularly closely on "Mesoamerica during this early era, because a series of stratified cultures arose there that erected grand architecture and produced "objects of fine workmanship that are comparable to the arts of Western Europe.


The art-making tradition of Mesoamerican people begins with the "Olmec around 1400 BCE, during the "Preclassic era. These people are best known for making "colossal heads but also carved "jade, erected monumental architecture, made small-scale sculpture, and designed mosaic floors. Two of the most well-studied sites artistically are "San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán and "La Venta. After the Olmec culture declined, the "Maya civilization became prominent in the region. Sometimes a transitional "Epi-Olmec period is described, which is a hybrid of Olmec and Maya. A particularly well-studied Epi-Olmec site is "La Mojarra, which includes hieroglyphic carvings that have been partially deciphered.


Golden knife for ceremonies, the Valley of the "Cauca river, "Colombia, 2nd century, in "Gold Museum, Bogotá ("Colombia)
Zapotec mask of the Bat God

By the late pre-Classic era, beginning around 400 BCE, the Olmec culture had declined but both Central Mexican and Maya peoples were thriving. Throughout much of the Classic period in Central Mexico, the city of "Teotihuacan was thriving, as were "Xochicalco and "El Tajin. These sites boasted grand sculpture and architecture. Other Central Mexican peoples included the "Mixtecs, the "Zapotecs, and people in the "Valley of Oaxaca. "Maya art was at its height during the “Classic” period—a name that mirrors that of "Classical European antiquity—and which began around 200 CE. Major Maya sites from this era include "Copan, where numerous stelae were carved, and "Quirigua where the largest stelae of Mesoamerica are located along with "zoomorphic altars. A complex "writing system was developed, and "Maya illuminated manuscripts were produced in large numbers on paper made from "tree bark. Many sites "”collapsed” around 1000 AD.


At the time of the "Spanish conquest of Yucatán during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Maya were still powerful, but many communities were paying tribute to "Aztec society. The latter culture was thriving, and it included "arts such as sculpture, painting, and feather mosaics. Perhaps the most well-known work of Aztec art is the "calendar stone, which became a national symbol of the state of "Mexico. During the "Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, many of these artistic objects were sent to Europe, where they were placed in "cabinets of curiosities, and later redistributed to Western art museums. The Aztec empire was based in the city of "Tenochtitlan which was largely destroyed during the colonial era. What remains of it was buried beneath "Mexico City. A few buildings, such as the foundation of the "Templo Mayor have since been unearthed by archaeologists, but they are in poor condition.

Art in the Americas[edit]

Art in the Americas since the conquest is characterized by a mixture of indigenous and foreign traditions, including those of European, African, and Asian settlers. Numerous indigenous traditions thrived after the conquest. For example, the "Plains Indians created "quillwork, "beadwork, "winter counts, "ledger art, and "tipis in the pre-reservation era, and afterwards became assimilated into the world of Modern and Contemporary art through institutions such as the "Santa Fe Indian School which encouraged students to develop a unique Native American style. Many paintings from that school, now called the Studio Style, were exhibited at the "Philbrook Museum of Art during its Indian annual held from 1946 to 1979.


"Eastern civilization broadly includes "Asia, and it also includes a complex tradition of art making. One approach to "Eastern art history divides the field by nation, with foci on "India, "China, and "Japan. Due to the size of the continent, the distinction between Eastern Asia and Southern Asia in the context of arts can be clearly seen. In most of Asia, pottery was a prevalent form of art. The pottery is often decorated with geometric patterns or abstract representations of animals, people or plants. Another very widespread form of art was, and is, sculpture.

Indian art[edit]

The "Indus Valley Civilisation made anthropomorphic figures. Most famous are the "Dancing Girl and the Priest-King. This civilisation made also many "clay pots, most of them decorated with geometric patterns. They made seals decorated with animals, anthropomorphic figures and "their script. The Indus script (also known as the Harappan script) is a corpus of symbols produced by the "Indus Valley Civilization during the "Kot Diji and "Mature Harappan periods between 3500 and 1900 BCE. Most inscriptions containing these symbols are extremely short, making it difficult to judge whether or not these symbols constituted a "script used to record a language, or even symbolise a "writing system.[15] In spite of many attempts,[16] the "script" has not yet been deciphered, but efforts are ongoing. There is no known "bilingual inscription to help decipher the script, nor does the script show any significant changes over time. However, some of the syntax (if that is what it may be termed) varies depending upon location.[15]

Early "Buddhists in India developed symbols related to "Buddha. Bhutanese painted ""thangkas" that shows Buddhist iconography. The major survivals of Buddhist art begin in the period after the Mauryans, from which good quantities of sculpture survives from some key sites such as "Sanchi, "Bharhut and "Amaravati, some of which remain in situ, with others in museums in India or around the world. Stupas were surrounded by ceremonial fences with four profusely carved "toranas or ornamental gateways facing the cardinal directions. These are in stone, though clearly adopting forms developed in wood. They and the walls of the stupa itself can be heavily decorated with reliefs, mostly illustrating the lives of the Buddha. Gradually life-size figures were sculpted, initially in deep relief, but then free-standing.[17] "Mathura was the most important centre in this development, which applied to Hindu and Jain art as well as Buddhist.[18] The facades and interiors of rock-cut "chaitya prayer halls and monastic "viharas have survived better than similar free-standing structures elsewhere, which were for long mostly in wood. The caves at "Ajanta, "Karle, "Bhaja and elsewhere contain early sculpture, often outnumbered by later works such as iconic figures of the Buddha and "bodhisattvas, which are not found before 100 CE at the least.

Chinese art[edit]

The "Sakyamuni "Buddha, by Zhang Shengwen, c. 1173–1176 CE (during the "Song dynasty period)

In Eastern Asia, painting was derived from the practice of calligraphy, and portraits and landscapes were painted on silk cloth. Most of the paintings represent landscapes or portraits. The most spectacular sculptures are the "ritual bronzes and the bronze sculptures from "Sanxingdui. A very well-known example of Chinese art is the "Terracotta Army, depicting the armies of "Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of "China. It is a form of "funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.

Japanese art[edit]

Japanese art covers a wide range of art styles and media, including "ancient pottery, "sculpture, "ink painting and "calligraphy on silk and paper, "ukiyo-e paintings and "woodblock prints, ceramics, "origami, and more recently "manga—modern Japanese "cartooning and comics—along with a myriad of other types. It has a long history, ranging from the beginnings of human habitation in Japan, sometime in the 10th millennium BC, to the present.

The first settlers of Japan, the "Jōmon people (c. 11000 – c. 300 BC). They crafted "lavishly decorated pottery storage vessels, clay figurines called "dogū. Japan has been subject to sudden invasions of new ideas followed by long periods of minimal contact with the outside world. Over time the Japanese developed the ability to absorb, imitate, and finally assimilate those elements of foreign culture that complemented their aesthetic preferences. The earliest complex art in Japan was produced in the 7th and 8th centuries in connection with "Buddhism. In the 9th century, as the Japanese began to turn away from China and develop indigenous forms of expression, the secular arts became increasingly important; until the late 15th century, both religious and secular arts flourished. After the "Ōnin War (1467–1477), Japan entered a period of political, social, and economic disruption that lasted for over a century. In the state that emerged under the leadership of the "Tokugawa shogunate, organized religion played a much less important role in people's lives, and the arts that survived were primarily secular.

Korean art[edit]

Korean arts include traditions in calligraphy, music, painting and pottery, often marked by the use of natural forms, surface decoration and bold colors or sounds.

The earliest examples of Korean art consist of "stone age works dating from 3000 BC. These mainly consist of "votive sculptures and more recently, "petroglyphs, which were rediscovered.

This early period was followed by the art styles of various Korean kingdoms and dynasties. Korean artists sometimes modified "Chinese traditions with a native preference for simple elegance, spontaneity, and an appreciation for purity of nature.

The "Goryeo Dynasty (918–1392) was one of the most prolific periods for a wide range of disciplines, especially pottery.

The Korean art market is concentrated in the "Insadong district of "Seoul where over 50 small galleries exhibit and occasional fine arts auctions. Galleries are cooperatively run, small and often with curated and finely designed exhibits. In every town there are smaller regional galleries, with local artists showing in traditional and contemporary media. Art galleries usually have a mix of media. Attempts at bringing Western conceptual art into the foreground have usually had their best success outside of Korea in "New York, "San Francisco, "London and "Paris.

Vietnamese art[edit]

Vietnamese art has a long and rich history, the earliest examples of which date back as far as the "Stone Age around 8,000 "BCE["citation needed].

With the millennium of "Chinese domination starting in the 2nd century BC, Vietnamese art undoubtedly absorbed many Chinese influences, which would continue even following independence from China in the 10th century AD. However, Vietnamese art has always retained many distinctively Vietnamese characteristics.

By the 19th century, the influence of "French art took hold in Vietnam, having a large hand in the birth of modern Vietnamese art.

Thai art[edit]

Traditional Thai art is primarily composed of "Buddhist art and scenes from the Indian epics. Traditional Thai "sculpture almost exclusively depicts "images of the Buddha. Traditional Thai "paintings usually consist of book illustrations, and painted ornamentation of buildings such as "palaces and "temples.


The long story of "African Art includes both "sculpture, typified by the brass castings of the "Benin people, as well as "folk art. In the ancient world, "Egypt is often thought of as the greatest artistic culture of Africa, but it is also rivaled by "Nubia, which was located in present-day "Sudan. Concurrent with the European Middle Ages, in the eleventh century CE a nation that made grand architecture, gold sculpture, and intricate jewelry was founded in "Great Zimbabwe. Impressive sculpture was concurrently being cast from brass by the "Yoruba people of what is now Nigeria. Such a culture grew and was ultimately transformed to become the "Benin Kingdom, where elegant altar tusks, brass heads, plaques of brass, and palatial architecture was created. The Benin Kingdom was ended by the British in 1897, and little of the culture's art now remains in Nigeria. Today, the most significant arts venue in Africa is the Johannesburg Biennale.


The "Art of Oceania includes the geographic areas of "Micronesia, "Polynesia, "Australia, "New Zealand, and "Melanesia. One approach treats the area thematically, with foci on "ancestry, warfare, the body, gender, trade, religion, and "tourism. Unfortunately, little ancient art survives from Oceania. Scholars believe that this is likely because artists used perishable materials, such as wood and feathers, which did not survive in the tropical climate, and there are no historical records to refer to most of this material. The understanding of Oceania's artistic cultures thus begins with the documentation of it by Westerners, such as Captain "James Cook in the eighteenth century. At the turn of the twentieth century the French artist "Paul Gauguin spent significant amounts of time in Tahiti, living with local people and making modern art—a fact that has become intertwined with Tahitian visual culture to the present day. The indigenous "art of Australia often looks like abstract modern art, but it has deep roots in local culture.

Modern and Contemporary[edit]

"Henri Matisse, 1905–06, "Le bonheur de vivre, oil on canvas, 175 x 241 cm, "Barnes Foundation


Art historians disagree when "Modern art began, some tracing it as far back as "Francisco Goya in the "Napoleonic period, the mid-19th century with the "industrial revolution or the late 19th century with the advent of "Impressionism. The "French Revolution of 1789 gave rise to further revolutions in thought. In the arts, these included a new self-consciousness about artistic styles and individuality.[21] Art historian "H. Harvard Arnason says "a gradual metamorphosis took place in the course of a hundred years", marked by significant events such as the completion in 1784 of "Jacques-Louis David's painting "The Oath of the Horatii; the exhibition of "Gustave Courbet's painting "The Artist's Studio in 1855; and the exhibition of "Édouard Manet's painting "Le déjeuner sur l'herbe in the "Salon des Refusés in Paris in 1863.[22]

19th Century[edit]

During the 19th century, the "Romantic tendency of early modern artists such as "Turner and "Delacroix was succeeded by newer art movements: "Realism, "Impressionism, "post-Impressionism, "Symbolism, and other movements. Western artists were influenced by Eastern decorative arts, especially "Japanese prints.

The Impressionists sought to convey movement, spontaneity, and transient effects of light in their work. Their style was adopted by artists in many countries, alongside national movements such as the "Hudson River School and the "Ashcan School in the US.

Early 20th Century[edit]

"Pablo Picasso, 1907, "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, oil on canvas, 244 x 234 cm, "Museum of Modern Art, New York

The history of "20th-century art is a narrative of endless possibilities and the search for new standards, each being torn down in succession by the next. The art movements of "Fauvism, "Expressionism, "Cubism, "abstract art, "Dadaism and "Surrealism led to further explorations of new creative styles and manners of expression. Increasing "global interaction during this time saw an equivalent influence of other cultures into Western art, such as "Pablo Picasso being influenced by "Iberian sculpture, "African sculpture and "Primitivism. "Japonism, and Japanese "woodcuts (which had themselves been influenced by Western Renaissance draftsmanship) had an immense influence on Impressionism and subsequent artistic developments. The influential example set by "Paul Gauguin's interest in "Oceanic art and the sudden popularity among the "cognoscenti in early 20th century Paris of newly discovered African fetish sculptures and other works from non-European cultures were taken up by Picasso, "Henri Matisse, and many of their colleagues. Later in the 20th century, "Pop Art and "Abstract Expressionism came to prominence.

Late 20th and Early 21st Centuries[edit]

Rapid advances in science and technology led to the late Modern and "Postmodern period. In these periods, the art and cultures of the world went through many changes, and there was a great deal of intermixture between cultures, as new "communications technologies facilitated the national and even global dissemination of music, art and style. The separation of regional cultures that had marked the 19th century was replaced by a global culture. Postmodernism describes a broad movement that developed in the mid- to late-20th century across philosophy, the arts, architecture, and criticism which marked a departure from modernism.[23][24][25]

Art museums[edit]

"Guggenheim Museum in "Bilbao, Spain

The experience of art history, as conveyed by "art museums, tends to be organized by the strengths of each museum's "collections and the institutions themselves. Rather than a full march through time, museums employ "curators who assemble objects into "exhibitions, often with unique commentary that is later reinterpreted by "docents. Because they have the responsibility to store objects, museums develop taxonomies for their collections, using conventions of classification "authority for the sake of consistency. This may be undertaken with the museum’s "archivist. The result is to occasionally find a strong emphasis on the history of "media in conjunction with the history of culture.

Such an emphasis on media is a natural outgrowth of the internal classification systems used in art museums, which often include departments of "painting, "sculpture, "decorative arts, and works on paper. Painting itself includes several media, such as "oil painting, "Tempera painting, "watercolor. Sculpture can be divided into "carving and "casting. The decorative arts are perhaps the most diverse, as they include: "textiles and "needlework, which includes "weaving, "lace, "shibori, and other work with "fabric; "Murals, of which "frescoes are one form; and objects of adornment such as "silver, "ceramics, "lacquerware, "stained glass, and "furniture. Museums generally cannot collect full buildings, but they may acquire pieces of architectural ornamentation, which also fall under the decorative arts department. Works on paper includes "printmaking, "photography, and the "book "arts such as "illuminated manuscripts. Museums may also include a department of "applied arts, which includes objects of good "design along with the "graphic art, "illustration, and other forms of "commercial art.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gardner, p.2
  2. ^ "Shell 'art' made 300,000 years before humans evolved - New Scientist". New Scientist. 
  3. ^ Gardner, pp.3-4
  4. ^ McCoid, Catherine Hodge; McDermott, Leroy D. (1996). "Toward Decolonizing Gender: Female Vision in the Upper Paleolithic". American Anthropologist. 98 (2): 319–326. "doi:10.1525/aa.1996.98.2.02a00080. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  5. ^ Honour, H.; Fleming, J. (2005). A World History of Art. Laurence King. "ISBN "9781856694513. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
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Further reading[edit]

Hall, 2004.

External links[edit]


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