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Art History: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
10 Things You Might Not Know About 'The Last...
Facts about Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Last Supper'. One of the world's most famous religious paintings in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.
What is Dada?
Dadaism, or Dada Art, was not a movement, it's artists not artists and it's art not art. Why does this non-art movement still matter in the art world?
7 Surprising Facts About Michelangelo's Sistine...
Discover the answers to some of the most common questions about Michelangelo's The Sistine Chapel ceiling, the most famous ceiling frescoes painting in the world.
How Much Do You Know About Pop Art?
Pop Art was a post WWII reaction to American consumerism. By bridging high and low culture they reflected America's own growing dependence and fascination with mass production and images of celebrities.
What Should You Know About the Elements of Art?
Knowing the 7 Elements of Art (line, shape, form, space, texture, value and color) allows you to analyze, appreciate, write and talk about art, and even create it.
How to Define Art
What is Art? There are many things that contribute to the definition of art. Learn more about the best way to answer this complex question.
What is Surrealism?
Surrealist artists feasted on the unconscious, the exploration of the dream as a valid form of reality, and a willingness to depict images of perverse sexuality, scatology, decay and violence.
What is Abstract Art?
Abstract art can be a painting or sculpture (including assemblage) that does not depict a person, place or thing in the natural world. Even in an extremely distorted or exaggerated way
What is the Definition of Form?
Form is one of the seven elements of art. At its most basic, a form is a three-dimensional geometrical figure as opposed to a shape, which is two-dimensional, or flat.
Is that John or Mary Magdalene in the Last...
: Is that John or Mary Magdalene in the Last Supper? : (Heaven help us all - aren't there more important
Art History 101: What is Cubism?
Cubism art rebelled against Renaissance one-point perspective and illusionism through an emphasis on geometricity, simultaneity, and passage. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque pioneered Cubism's ideas and style.
French Impressionist Painters
Famous French artists and painters and who were the trend setters of the notable Impressionism Art Movement during the mid-to-late 19th century.
Romanticism - Art History 101 Basics
Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor in exact truth, but in a way of feeling. - Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)
What Does Medium Mean in Art?
In art, Medium refers to the substance the artist uses to create his or her artwork. For example, the medium Michelangelo used to create David was marble.
The Basics of Post-Impressionism Art
Post Impressionist artists' work comes directly out of the Impressionism or was inspired by the Impressionist movement, but pushes one aspect of the Impressionism to an extreme.
How Does the Movement of Light Help Create...
Impressionism is about the temporary, the here and now, and not about the timeless, the forever. Its avant-garde technique features short, painterly brushstrokes of bright colors that blend when the eyes view the painting at a distance.
The Renaissance
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >We all know what
Fast Facts About the Great Pablo Picasso
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, was a Spanish painter best known for (co-)inventing Cubism, inspired and invented nearly every art movement in the twentieth century.
What is the Definition of Balance in Art?
Balance in art refers to the ways in which the elements (lines, shapes, colors, textures, etc.) of a piece are arranged. A basic principle of art, specifically of design.
What is Contemporary Art?
Contemporary Art means art that has been and continues to be created during our lifetimes. From the 1960s or '70s up until this very minute.
What is Value in Art?
An element of art, Value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. Value becomes critical in a work which has no colors other than black, white, and a gray scale.
The Scream by Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch painted 'The Scream' in 1895 but also created 3 other colored versions, as well as a black and white lithographic stone.
What is the Definition of Texture in Art?
The definition of texture as an element of art, refers to the way a three-dimensional work actually feels when touched, or the visual 'feel' of a two-dimensional piece
What is the Definition of Shape in Art?
Shapes in art are limited to two dimensions: length and width. Geometric shapes have the clear edges. Organic shapes have natural, less well-defined edges.
Abstract Expressionism - Art History 101 Basics
Abstract Expressionism, or AbEx, exploded onto the art scene after World War II with its characteristic messiness and extremely energetic applications of paint.
What's a Line in Art?
A line is a basic element of art, referring to a continuous mark, made on a surface, by a moving point. A line is long relative to its width. It can define a space, create an outline or pattern, imply movement or texture and allude to mass or volume. Absolutely essential in creating art, the line.
How to Write an Art History Paper
How to write about art history, offering do's and don'ts that will help you complete the essay on time. Appropriate for high school and college students.
What is the Definition of Color in Art?
When artists and art historians define color in art, they are referring to the element that is produced when light, striking an object, is reflected back to the eye.
What Does Space Mean in Art?
An element of art, Space refers to distances or areas around, between or within components of a piece.
Art History Jobs - Fellowship and Internship...
Art history job openings, Fellowships and Internships, stipends and grant competitions. The most recent entries are at the top of the page. Please note this page is no longer being updated.
Leonardo da Vinci - The Paintings
Leonardo da Vinci's artwork, shown chronologically, as a painter. From his earliest 1470s efforts as an apprentice in Verrocchio's workshop, to his final painted piece, St. John the Baptist (1513-16).
What is the Definition of Contrast in Art?
Contrast art refers to the arrangement of opposite elements (light vs. dark colors, rough vs. smooth textures, large vs. small shapes, etc.) in a piece of art.
How Mannerism Signaled the End for the Italian...
Mannerism refers to the art of the Late Italian Renaissance, before the Baroque period began, when artists used clashing colors and many bizarre themes in their work.
Michelangelo Buonarroti Biography
Michelangelo's output was, quite simply, stunning, in quality, quantity and scale. His most famous statues include the 18-foot David (1501-1504) and the Pietà (1499).
The Renaissance in Venice - Art History 101...
The Venetian Renaissance gave birth to a distinct school of painting. There was just something about the light there that begged to be captured on canvas.
What is Op Art?
Op Art, a 1960s style of art that utilized illusion, contrast and a precise, mathematically-based composition to trick the eye.
What’s the Difference Between the...
The Northern Renaissance took place across Europe, but outside of Italy, in countries including France, the Netherlands and Germany where most innovative art was created.
Fauvism - Art History 101 Basics
Some art historians have questioned if Fauvism was indeed a movement, but there is no denying that the brief heyday of the Wild Beasts had a huge impact on Modern Art.
What is the Definition of Emphasis in Art?
Emphasis is a principle of art which occurs any time an element of a piece is given dominance by the artist. Frequently, emphasis is achieved by means of contrast.
How to Identify Synthetic Cubism
Synthetic Cubism was invented by Picasso and Braque as they simplified a specific repertory of forms derived from their Analytic Cubism period. Synthetic Cubism also incorporated collage and papier colle in Picasso and Braque's work.
What Is Representational Art?
What is Representational Art? The word 'representational', when used to describe art, means that the work depicts something easily recognized by most people.
What You Should Know about the Visual Arts
What is the definition of Visual Art? The visual arts are those creations we can look at, such as a drawing or a painting, and more.
What Is Artistic Unity?
A principle of art, Unity occurs when all of the elements of a piece combine to make a balanced, harmonious, complete whole.
Analytical Cubism
Analytic Cubism was developed by Picasso and Braque to refer to real objects in terms of identifiable details that become, through repetitive use, signs that indicate the idea of the object, just like we find in cartoon characters.
Color Field Painting: Art History 101 Basics
Color Field Painting is a branch of Abstract Expressionism that concentrates on colorful shapes and expanses of color which emphasize the literal flatness of the canvas or paper.
The High Renaissance in Italy - Art History 101...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >After hearing
Art History 101 - The High Renaissance
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >They were: Leonardo
Nonobjective Art
A work of art that does not represent or depict a person, place or thing in the natural world.
Performance Art - Art History 101 Basics
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The term "Performance
Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth
After his father's death, Andrew Wyeth's palette became muted, his landscapes barren and his figures plaintive. 'Christina's World' epitomizes these traits.
What's Art Really For?
There are four main functions of art including its contextual, personal, social and physical attributes.
A List of Artists Who Committed Suicide -...
An alphabetical listing of famous departed artists who chose to leave this world by their own hands. Attempted suicides and gradual suicides by substance abuse have not been included.
Art History Timelines from Pre-History to the...
Below you will find that which "they" (who say many things) call The Big Picture: the entirety of art
Leonardo da Vinci
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Leonardo da Vinci,
Golden Ratio
Golden Ratio is a term (with an astounding number of aliases) used to describe aesthetically pleasing proportioning within a piece.
The Persistence of Memory, 1931
Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904-1989). The Persistence of Memory, 1931. Oil on canvas. 24.1 x 33 cm (9 1/2 x 13 in.) The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Page 11.
What is Paleolithic Art?
Roughly 40,000 years ago marked the start of the Paleolithic Art period, which saw the the rise of Homo sapiens and their ability to create tools, weapons and ultimately, art.
Artist Profile: Andy Warhol
A biographical profile of Andy Warhol (1928-1987), American painter, filmmaker and Pop icon.
How To Photograph Artwork and Paintings -...
Photographing artwork is not as easy as it sounds. Learn some quick tips on how to photograph artwork, paintings, sculptures, and drawings.
rhythm
Rhythm is a principle of art that's difficult to summarize in words. Assuming that you've picked up on a rhythm in music before, take what you heard with your ears and try to translate that to something you'd see with your eyes. Rhythm, in art, is a visual beat.
Outline of Art History - Modern Art - Visual...
Outline of Art History - Modern Art Visual Arts Movements - 1880-1970 After Impressionism proved it only
What Is Modern Art?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Asking "What is
Appropriation / Appropriation Art
Appropriation art takes images from well-known contexts and puts these images into other contexts, usually paintings, sculpture, collages, combines or installations. Recontextualizing the image adds meaning and associations to the original image (or real thing) as well as completes the meaning of the Appropriation artist's own work.
Artists in 60 Seconds: Shepard Fairey
Frank Shepard Fairey (born February 15, 1970), an American contemporary street artist, first began to appear in the news for wheat pasting, sticker tagging, and the numerous accompanying arrests that now comprise his official criminal record.
Are You Saying Leonardo Was Gay?
: Are You Saying Leonardo Was Gay? : No, I am not saying Leonardo was gay. I don't know if Leonardo was
Bas Relief
A French term from the Italian basso-relievo (low relief), bas relief is a sculpture technique in which figures and/or other design elements are just barely more prominent than the (overall flat) background.
Art History 101 - Greek Art (An Overview)
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >As happened centuries
Artists in 60 Seconds Index - Visual Artist...
In this large index, famous (and not-so-famous) names from the world of art are arranged alphabetically by last name. Also known as Artists in 60 Seconds, each profile contains pertinent facts about an individual name and links to further resources whenever applicable.
assemblage
: ( noun ) - As one familiar with the word "assembly" might assume, assemblage is a form of sculpture
Art History Definition: Landscape Painting
Landscape is an academic category that refers to works of art which feature views of nature, including seascapes, cityscapes and waterscapes.
Art History Glossary - Definitions for Art...
An alphabetized index of Art and Art History definitions for words and terms.
Was Leonardo a Vegetarian?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Increasingly,
sfumato
Sfumato means that there are no harsh outlines (as in a coloring book) present; areas blend into one another through miniscule brushstrokes, which makes for a rather hazy, albeit more realistic, depiction of light and color.
Why Florence Was the Center of Early Italian...
Learn five key reasons Florence, Italy became center stage for Early Italian Renaissance art and the place where many artists launched their careers during in the 15th-century.
Minimalism or Minimal Art - Art History 101...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Minimalism or
Realism - Art History 101 Basics
Realism - Art History 101 Basics
The Sistine Madonna by Raphael
She may be 500 years old, but the Sistine Madonna doesn't look a day over 18. How does she do it?
The Vitruvian Man - Leonardo Da Vinci - About.com
Leonardo Da Vinci squared the circle. The secret solution in the Vitruvian Man decoded.
Mona Lisa Coloring Page
A line drawing of Leonardo's Mona Lisa for your coloring page fun. You are free to save and print this image for personal, educational and non-commercial purposes.
trompe l'oeil
: ( noun ) - Trompe l'oeil literally translates from French to mean "fools the eye." Hard to paint, the
Art History Quiz: Know Your French Impressionists
Art History Quiz: Know Your French Impressionists. 8 Artists, 20 Questions.
The Lovers, 1928
René Magritte (Belgian, 1898-1967). The Lovers, 1928. Oil on canvas. 54 x 73.4 cm (21 3/8 x 28 7/8 in.). Gift of Richard S. Zeisler. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © Charly Herscovici, Brussels - 2011© VBK Vienna, 2011. Page 4.
Artists in 60 Seconds: Frida Kahlo
A biographical profile of Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón (1907-1954), Mexican painter.
proportion
Proportion is a principle of art that describes the size, location or amount of one element to another (or to the whole) in a work. It has a great deal to do with the overall hamrony of an individual piece.
tone
Tone is a quality of color. Art History.
Test Your Knowledge- A Quiz on the French...
They were an interesting bunch, the French Impressionists, and drew many non-French Impressionists into their orbit. They changed Western art - and the way we view it - forever. I thought it'd be fun to spotlight seven gentlemen and one lady, in order that you could test your knowledge of the group. If you get all 20 questions correct, kudos! Page 2.
Art History Definition: Collage
Collage is an art form that includes glued paper, objects and other foreign matter. Picasso and Braque invented the art form during the the Synthetic Period (1912 and on).
Deb's Unofficial Guide to Getting a Job in the...
Deb R. Fuller, museum professional, graciously and generously shares excellent advice for those seeking to break into the business.
vanitas painting
A vanitas painting was a particular type of still life immensely popular in the Netherlands (and Paris, to a lesser extent), beginning in the 17th century.
pattern
A principle of art - and probably the universe itself - pattern means the repetition of an element (or elements) in a work. An artist achieves a pattern through the use of colors (children playing with Legos® know this instinctively), lines (think: Op Art) or shapes (as with mosaics, tessellations, etc.).
Salon
A salon, based on the French word living room, is a conversational gathering of intellectuals, artists and politicians. The French Salon was the official annual exhibition sponsored by the French government from 1667 to 1890; it continues under the private stewardship of the Societe des Artistes Francais.
The Proto-Renaissance - Art History 101 Basics
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >As mentioned in
The First Impressionist Exhibition - 1874
The first Impressionist exhibition, when the group was given this name, took place in 1874 and included 30 artists and 165 works of art. The idea for this independent exhibition was radical for this time in French art history and its opening day changed the course of art history forever.
Artists in 60 Seconds: J. M. W. Turner
A biographical profile of Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), English Romantic painter.
nonrepresentational art
An artwork that does not represent or depict a being, place or thing in the natural world.
Artists Birthdays by Month - April
Artists' Birthdays by Month - April     1       2       3       4   Maurice de Vlaminck (1876)     5
Free Art History Coloring Pages
A series of art-historic line drawings for your coloring page fun. You are free to save and print these for personal, educational and non-commercial purposes.
Freedom from Want, 1943
Art History. Page 9.
Why did you say Eucharist?
: Why did you say Eucharist? : Because I was thinking (or, more probably, not thinking at all) like a
Vincent Willem van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh lived a short, deeply tormented life, throughout which he sought (in vain) his place in the world. He died, by his own hand, feeling his life was a miserable failure. Unbeknownst to Vincent, the work he did pioneered the Expressionistic style and, 150 years after his birth, his name would be world famous.
Art History Paper Topics - 15 Ideas and Examples
A list of art history paper topics with links to writing samples published on About.com Art History.
Which Style Guide Should I Use?
Rules of thumb to help you know which style guide applies to your art history paper citations and advice on how to format those image captions.
ignudi
The Ignudo is the phrase coined by Michelangelo to describe the twenty seated male nudes he incorporated into the Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes.
Outline of Art History - Contemporary Art -...
Outline of Art History - Contemporary Art Visual Arts Movements - 1970s-Present 1970 Post-Modernism - 1970s-mid
Art History 101 - A Brisk Walk Through the Eras
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Put on your sensible
Artists in 60 Seconds: Berthe Morisot
Berthe Morisot was among the few women in the original French Impressionist circle. She was married to Eugene Manet and was the sister-in-law of Edouard Manet. Her daughter was Julie Manet, also an artist.
Artists in 60 Seconds: Willem de Kooning
A biographical profile of Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), Dutch-born American Abstract Expressionist painter.
impasto
A painting technique, impasto is a thick application of paint (usually oil) that makes no attempt to look smooth.
Art History Definition: Action Painting
Abstract artworks that emphasize the process of or gesture in the creative act through various techniques of application, including dripping, smearing and flinging paint.
Artists in 60 Seconds: Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
A biographical profile of Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), Venetian painter in the Italian High Renaissance.
Outline of Art History - Renaissance to Early...
Outline of Art History - Renaissance to Early Modern Art Visual Arts Movements - 1400-1880 Fifteenth
Last Supper, 1495-98
Art History. Page 15.
Sunflowers Coloring Page
A line drawing of Vincent van Gogh's Vase with 12 Sunflowers for your coloring page fun. You are free to save and print this image for personal, educational and non-commercial purposes. Page 4.
Outline of Art History - Ancient Art - Visual...
Outline of Art History - Ancient Art Visual Arts Movements - ca. 30,000 B.C.-ca. 400 A.D. Prehistory
Triple Self-Portrait, 1960
Art History. Page 18.
Why Should I Study Art History?
Students may take Art History because it is required, or it seems like a good choice for AP credit in High School, or even because it is the only elective that fits into that semester's class schedule. When one of the latter three scenarios apply, questions invariably arise: how come I took this class? What's in it for me? Why should I study art history? Here are five compelling reasons.
Neolithic Art - Art History 101 Basics
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >After the rather
The Florentine School and the Portrayal of Male...
The Florentine School had a long tradition of often depicting young males as sweet, pretty, rather effeminate persons. Why? Well, it was simply how it was done. It was tradition, and at least partly so because young men were frequently objects of desire.
Artists in 60 Seconds: Rosa Bonheur
A biographical profile of Rosa (Marie Rosalie) Bonheur (1822-1899), French Realist painter and sculptor.
Art History Definition: Abstraction
An artwork that does not represent or depict a being, place or thing; or a simplified, generalized depiction of a being, place or thing.
The Hierarchy of Genres
Believe it or not, artists used to have an official list detailing which types of paintings were more important than others.
Jacob Lawrence Biography
Learn more about Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000), an African American Expressionist painter.
Numbers in Color, 1958–59
Art History. Page 11.
Self-Portrait with Necklace, 1933
Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954). Self-Portrait with Necklace, 1933. Oil on metal. 13 1/2 x 11 1/2 in. (34.3 x 29.2 cm). The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Modern and Contemporary Mexican Art: Courtesy The Vergel Foundation; Muros; Costco / Comercial Mexicana. © 2007 Banco de México, Trustee of the Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust. Av. Cinco de Mayo No. 2, Col. Centro, Del. Cuauhtémoc 06059, México, D.F. Page 4.
Artists in 60 Seconds: René Magritte
A biographical profile of René Magritte (1898-1967), the Belgian Surrealist painter.
John James Audubon Biography
Learn more about John James Audubon (1785-1851), an American Naturalist illustrator and author.
genre
: ( noun ) - Genre -- typically immediately followed by the word "painting" -- is most frequently used
Robert Indiana Biography
Learn more about Robert Indiana, an American painter, sculptor and printmaker best known for his Love sculpture series.
Artists in 60 Seconds: Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro was among the founders of Impressionism and exhibited in all eight exhibitions. An anarchist, he lent to the movement a social consciousness about modernity's effects on the country and city.
American Gothic Coloring Page
A line drawing of Grant Wood's American Gothic for your coloring page fun. You are free to save and print this image for personal, educational and non-commercial purposes. Page 5.
Artists in 60 Seconds: Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio)
A biographical profile of Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio) (1483-1520), painter in the Italian High Renaissance.
What about the disembodied hand?
Last Supper , Peter's arm appears to be twisted. His right shoulder and elbow seem to be at odds with
Neo-Impressionism - Art History 101 Basics
Neo-Impressionism was a movement and style that applied tiny points of color in tightly packed areas so that the viewer's eye mixed the colors to form another color, rather than the artist mixing the colors on the palette. It is also called Divisionism, Pontillism and Chromoluminarism. The effect is radiant. Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Camille Pissarro, Henri-Edmond Cross, and many others practiced this labor-intensive systematic approach to capturing light in modern settings.
Starry Night Coloring Page
A line drawing of Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night for your coloring page fun. You are free to save and print this image for personal, educational and non-commercial purposes. Page 3.
photomontage
Photomontage is a specific kind of collage made of primarily of photographs from newspapers, magazines and similar media.
Artists in 60 Seconds: Marcel Duchamp
A biographical profile of Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), French-born American painter, sculptor and conceptual artist.
Artists in 60 Seconds: Roy Lichtenstein
A biographical profile of Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), American Pop painter.
ready-made
ready-made. Art History.
Before You Write an Essay on Impressionism
There are a few common misconceptions about Impressionism that you may want to avoid including. There are also a few truisms that you should include.
hue
: ( noun ) - " Hue " is what we call any color that can be plucked, in a pure state, out of the light
The Baroque - Art History 101 Basics
The Baroque - Art History 101 Basics
The Two Fridas, 1939
Art History. Page 12.
Sleeping Gypsy Coloring Page
A line drawing of Henri Rousseau's Sleeping Gypsy for your coloring page fun. You are free to save and print this image for personal, educational and non-commercial purposes. Page 2.
contrapposto
An art term which describes one particular pose a sculpture or painting of a human has been given by the artist.

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