Art History: Most Popular Articles
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.
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.
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?
There are many things that contribute to the definition of art. Learn more about the best way to answer this complex question.
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.
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.
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
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 Please note this page is no longer being updated.
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.
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.
Let's explore the four main functions of art including its contextual, personal, social and physical attributes.
Great question. Contemporary Art just means art that has been and continues to be created during our lifetimes. In other words, contemporary to us. Learn more..
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.
Famous French artists and painters and who were the trend setters of the notable Impressionism Art Movement during the mid-to-late 19th century.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
: Is that John or Mary Magdalene in the Last Supper? : (Heaven help us all - aren't there more important
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.
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.
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.
Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor in exact truth, but in a way of feeling. - Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)
Edvard Munch painted 'The Scream' in 1895 but also created 3 other colored versions, as well as a black and white lithographic stone.
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.
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.
An element of art, Space refers to distances or areas around, between or within components of a piece.
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.
What is Representational Art? The word 'representational', when used to describe art, means that the work depicts something easily recognized by most people.
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.
Andrew Wyeth painted this in 1948. His father, N. C. Wyeth, had been killed at a railway crossing just three years earlier, and Andrew's work underwent a significant change after the loss. His palette became muted, his landscapes barren and his figures--if present--seemed plaintive. Christina's World epitomizes these traits.
Advice on how to write an art history paper, written by an art history professor, offering dos and don'ts that will help you complete the assignment on time. Appropriate for high school and college students.
Abstract Expressionism or. Art History.
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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.
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.
The entirety of art history broken up chronologically into five chunks, beginning with Ancient Art (circa 30,000 B.C. to 400 A.D.) through the present.
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.
Photographing artwork is not as easy as it sounds. Learn some quick tips on how to photograph artwork, paintings, sculptures, and drawings.
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).
The term. Art History.
The Big Three Names of the High Renaissance were: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio). These are the very first artists that come to mind when ever the term. Page 2.
Take a closer look at Op Art, a 1960s style of art that utilized illusion, contrast and a precise, mathematically-based composition to trick the eye.
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.
Artists' Birthdays by Month - September: caspar david friedrich c m coolidge grandma moses jean arp jacob lawrence
Tone is a quality of color. Art History.
Artists' Birthdays by Month - July: rembrandt van rijn jean baptiste camille corot james abbott mcneill whistler james abbott mcneill frida kahlo
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.
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).
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.
Learn more about what the art world means by Modern Art, which includes works from the nineteenth century's Impressionists to the end of the 1960s.
A principle of art, Unity occurs when all of the elements of a piece combine to make a balanced, harmonious, complete whole.
During the Renaissance Venice gave birth to a distinct school of painting. There was just something about the light there that begged to be captured on canvas.
After the rather ho-hum art of the Mesolithic era, art in the Neolithic (literally:
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.
Discussion on Leonardo da Vinci's sexual orientation.
A work of art that does not represent or depict a person, place or thing in the natural world. Also called Abstract art or nonrepresentational art.
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.
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.
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.
Synthetic Cubism was invented by Picasso and Braque as they simplified a specific repertory of forms derived from their Analytic Cubism period of 1909/10 to 1912. Synthetic Cubism also incorporated collage and papier colle in Picasso and Braque's work.
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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.
Golden Ratio is a term (with an astounding number of aliases) used to describe aesthetically pleasing proportioning within a piece.
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 - Modern Art Visual Arts Movements - 1880-1970 After Impressionism proved it only
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.
Deb R. Fuller, museum professional, graciously and generously shares excellent advice for those seeking to break into the business.
Bidding Florence both huge thanks and a fond farewell, let's get right down to defining the who-s, what-s and when-s of the
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.
: ( noun ) - Trompe l'oeil literally translates from French to mean "fools the eye." Hard to paint, the
Leonardo Da Vinci squared the circle. The secret solution in the Vitruvian Man decoded.
Art History Quiz: Know Your French Impressionists. 8 Artists, 20 Questions.
x. Art History.
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: ( noun ) - As one familiar with the word "assembly" might assume, assemblage is a form of sculpture
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An alphabetized index of Art and Art History definitions for words and terms.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
A biographical profile of Andy Warhol (1928-1987), American painter, filmmaker and Pop icon.
Leonardo da Vinci, often referred to by just his first name, was the epitome of the term
Outline of Art History - Ancient Art Visual Arts Movements - ca. 30,000 B.C.-ca. 400 A.D. Prehistory
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.
An artwork that does not represent or depict a being, place or thing in the natural world.
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).
An artistic movement slowly gaining momentum that pokes fun at convention, and doesn't necessarily care if The Art World recognizes it.
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.
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.
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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.
There is no wrong way to go when choosing your own Marilyn color scheme. In fact, Andy Warhol revisited his 'Marilyn Series' several times and made some rather curious choices of his own (think: pumpkin, black-brown and lime green). One is left supposing that your Do-It-Yourself Marilyn could undergo the star treatment with some glitter, sequins and, possibly, a few glued-on feathers. Page 6.
This little portrait made big news on October 13, 2009 when Leonardo experts confidently attributed it to the Florentine Master based on forensic evidence.
Art History. Page 18.
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.
Selected Dada Artist
A biographical profile of Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), French-born American painter, sculptor and conceptual artist.
Outline of Art History - Contemporary Art Visual Arts Movements - 1970s-Present 1970 Post-Modernism - 1970s-mid
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.
Previously, this panel was thought to exist only as copies and one detailed, 1650 etching by Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, 1607-1677). This was a real jaw-dropper; the last painting by Leonardo to be authenticated was the Hermitage's Benois Madonna in 1909.
A painting technique, impasto is a thick application of paint (usually oil) that makes no attempt to look smooth.
A list of art history paper topics with links to writing samples published on About.com Art History.
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.
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.
Landscape is an academic category that refers to works of art which feature views of nature, including seascapes, cityscapes and waterscapes.
Art History. Page 12.
She may be 500 years old, but the Sistine Madonna doesn't look a day over 18. How does she do it?
Believe it or not, artists used to have an official list detailing which types of paintings were more important than others.
René Magritte (1898-1967) dressed like a banker, painted at his dining room table, and had little to say about himself; he preferred to let his work take center stage without commentary. We, however, crave to hear him speak -- we seek glimpses into his mind -- in an attempt to understand his paintings. What precious gems did Magritte drop when he did talk? Read on.
Outline of Art History - Renaissance to Early Modern Art Visual Arts Movements - 1400-1880 Fifteenth
A biographical profile of Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón (1907-1954), Mexican painter.
: ( noun ) - " Hue " is what we call any color that can be plucked, in a pure state, out of the light
Abstract artworks that emphasize the process of or gesture in the creative act through various techniques of application, including dripping, smearing and flinging paint.
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Art History. Page 11.
Learn more about Jean Arp (1886-1966), a German-born French sculptor, painter, collagist, printmaker and poet.
Outline of Art History - Medieval to Early Renaissance Art Visual Arts Movements - 400-1400 Early ChristianâLate
An artwork that does not represent or depict a being, place or thing; or a simplified, generalized depiction of a being, place or thing.
ready-made. Art History.
Artists' Birthdays by Month - August: jack butler yeats jean auguste dominique ingres jacques louis david jean auguste dominique andy warhol
Minimalism or Minimal Art is a form of abstraction that pares its forms down to the simplest and most elemental shapes. Often the surfaces are monochromatic. Barbara Rose in her landmark article
Portraits are recorded likenesses of humans or animals which are living or have lived. Portraiture is the category for this subject matter. Single images of the Virgin Mary are not portraits; they are devotional images.
The Baroque - Art History 101 Basics
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452-1519). Mona Lisa (La Gioconda), ca. 1503-05. Oil on poplar wood. 77 x 53 cm (30 3/8 x 20 7/8 in.). © Musée du Louvre, Paris. Page 9.
Lorenzo Ghiberti's achievements in art clearly reflect his firm grasp of a new and progressive visual vocabulary that emerged in Renaissance Florence, one that distinguished him from his city's medieval predecessors. The High Museum of Art's upcoming special exhibition, devoted to three panels from Ghiberti's famed Gates of Paradise, amply demonstrates this point.
Realism - 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.
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.
Last Supper , Peter's arm appears to be twisted. His right shoulder and elbow seem to be at odds with
: What Was Leonardo's Name? : In The Da Vinci Code , Robert Langdon refers to Leonardo as "Da Vinci."
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.
The elements of art are those components that one combines with principles of design to construct art.
The French Academy was founded in 1648 during the reign of King Louis XIV as the Academie Royale de peinture et de sculpture. After the French Revolution it became the Academie de peinture et de sculpture and then it was merged with the Academie de musique and the Academie d'architecture to form the Academie des Beaux-Arts. The annual government-sponsored exhibition called the Salon was controlled by the Academie des Beaux-Arts.
: ( noun ) - Genre -- typically immediately followed by the word "painting" -- is most frequently used
: ( noun ) - Watercolor has several meanings. First, it means a pigment that, when mixed with water as
A biographical profile of Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), English Romantic painter.
An Art History Guide to Leonardo and Art in The Da Vinci Code - Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions. Since The Da Vinci Code was published in 2003, it has managed to raise questions in the minds of nearly everyone who's read it. In response to your emails, I've been publishing answers to questions about Leonardo and his art as found in The Da Vinci Code since 2003. They are here assembled, side by side and illustrated with works by Leonardo.
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.
A biographical profile of Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), French Post-impressionist painter.
A biographical profile of Helen Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), English illustrator.
Art History. Page 15.
The Ignudo is the phrase coined by Michelangelo to describe the twenty seated male nudes he incorporated into the Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes.
The first major museum exhibition in the United States to focus exclusively on the brief but hugely influential movement, Dada surveys the six principal cities in which its artists worked between 1916 and 1924. Nearly fifty artists are represented in over 400 pieces including paintings, collage, photomontage, readymade constructions, photographs and printed matter.
A biographical profile of René Magritte (1898-1967), the Belgian Surrealist painter.