Art Period Characteristic Chief Artist and Major Work Artwork
Stone Age (30,000 b.c.–2500 b.c.)
The stone age was the earliest known period of human culture. There are three periods within this period of history known as the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and the Neolithic. Stone age art was art that was created during any of these 3 periods. This type of art is often referred to as prehistoric art. Cave painting, cupsules, fertility goddesses, megalithic structures Lascaux Cave Painting, Woman of Willendorf, Stonehenge

Mesopotamian (3500 b.c.–539 b.c.)
The Mesopotamia civilizations were formed during the Neolithic revolution. It was located in south western Asia, and the earliest civilizations in the world developed here. Warrior art and narration in stone relief Standard of Ur, Gate of Ishtar, Stele of Hammurabi’s Code

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Egyptian (3100 b.c.–30 b.c.)
The Pre-Dynastic period is where Egyptian art begins. Egyptian art is what made the civilization known. Their art was not meant to be seen, it was designed to benefit a deceased recipient or divine being. The meek weren’t able to afford the luxury artwork that tells their story. The recovered artifacts tell the story of the upper-class and it’s through their stories that those of the lower class are revealed. Art with an afterlife focus: pyramids and tomb painting Imhotep, Step Pyramid, Great Pyramids, Bust of Nefertiti

Greek and Hellenistic (850 b.c.–31 b.c.)
Alexander the Great’s death marks the beginning of the hellenistic period. Hellenistic sculpture takes the naturalism of the body’s form and expression to level of hyper-realism where the manifestation of the sculpture’s face and body elicit an emotional response. Greek idealism: balance, perfect proportions; architectural
orders(Doric, Ionic, Corinthian) Parthenon, Myron, Phidias, Polykleitos, Praxiteles
Roman (500 b.c.– a.d. 476)
Roman sculpture blended the flawless perfection of earlier Classical Greek sculpture with a greater desire for realism and mixed in the styles customary in Eastern art. Roman sculptors made copies of earlier Greek masterpieces in doing this they preserved for future generations invaluable works which would have otherwise been completely lost to world art. Bronze and marble were favoured for their finest work. The high demand for metal resulted in most of the surviving examples of Roman sculpture being in marble. Roman realism: practical and down to earth; the arch Augustus of Primaporta, Colosseum, Trajan’s Column,
Indian, Chinese, and Japanese(653 b.c.–a.d. 1900)
The art of the Indian, Chinese and Japanese are all heavily influenced by their culture and history. These influences changed the art for the time period to something that told us of the every day people, rather than the ones that were high in power. Serene, meditative art, and Arts of the Floating World Gu Kaizhi, Li Cheng, Guo Xi, Hokusai, Hiroshige
Byzantine and Islamic (a.d. 476–a.d.1453)
The Byzantine empire is what remained of the Roman Empire. Mirroring the political climate, art became a medium of confrontation and cooperation between the two sides. Islamic leaders were impressed by Byzantine mosaics and invited mosaicists to work on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Heavenly Byzantine mosaics; Islamic architecture and amazing
maze-like design Hagia Sophia, Andrei Rublev, Mosque of Córdoba, the
Middle Ages (500–1400)
Byzantine art is what early middle age art was called. Art during this period saw many changes and the development of the Renaissance art. Early middle ages art was restricted to religious art in the form of mosaics, manuscripts and fresco paintings with soft colours. Gothic art developed in the later middle ages using brighter colours, sculptures movement towards realism, using symmetry etc, Celtic art, Carolingian Renaissance, Romanesque, Gothic St. Sernin, Durham Cathedral, Notre Dame, Chartres, Cimabue,
Duccio, Giotto
Early and High Renaissance (1400–1550)
In early renaissance art theories were established, there were developments in painting and architecture and the style was defined. The high renaissance is a short period in which there was extraordinary artistic production in Italian states. References to classical art and applications from early renaissance characterise high renaissance. An art style called mannerism was developed at the end of the high renaissance it characterizes perspective exaggeration.
Rebirth of classical culture Ghiberti’s Doors, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Botticelli,
Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael
Venetian and Northern Renaissance (1430–1550)
In Venetian renaissance the conventional styles of ancient Greece and Rome were revitalized. The catholic church played an important role and thus art was centred on religion. The Northern renaissance is the renaissance outside of Italy but within Europe. It’s famous for its advanced oil painting techniques, portrait painting on wooden panel paintings as well as woodcuts and forms of printing. The Renaissance spreads north- ward to France, the Low
Countries, Poland, Germany, and England Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Dürer, Bruegel, Bosch, Jan van
Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden
Mannerism (1527–1580)
Mannerism was developed at the end of the high renaissance it characterizes perspective exaggeration, it wasn’t taken seriously as a style until the 20th century. Mannerism characterizes lifelike elements of intense distortion of human figure Art that breaks the rules; artifice over nature Tintoretto, El Greco, Pontormo, Bronzino, Cellini
Baroque (1600–1750)
Baroque is an art style that embraces architecture, painting and sculpture. The religious tensions of the age were reflected in this art form. It features continuous overlapping of figures and elements. It used movement, dramatic contrast, keen detail, radiance and surprise in order to evoke awe. Splendor and flourish for God; art as a weapon in the religious
wars Reubens, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Palace of Versailles
Neoclassical (1750–1850)
Neoclassical art is art that is produced later that was motivated by ancient times. It incorporates all the arts including literature, painting, sculpture, decorative arts, music, theatre and architecture characterizes dull colours, clarity of form, shallow space, strong horizontal and verticals and classical values and techniques. Art that recaptures Greco-Roman grace and grandeur David, Ingres, Greuze, Canova
Romanticism (1780–1850)
It marked the end of the Baroque era. It stresses on imagination, strong emotion, autonomy from traditional art forms and rebellion against social conventions. There is a keen interest in nature and the brushwork is freer and less precise The triumph of imagination and individuality Caspar Friedrich, Gericault, Delacroix, Turner, Benjamin
Realism (1848–1900)
An attempt to create art and literature to resemble life. It portrays the harsh everyday reality of normal people from the middle and lower classes of society. There is never a jovial emotion. It is sympathetic with dark colour palettes to emphasize the dilemma of workers it’s depicting. Celebrating working class and peasants; en plein air
rustic painting Corot, Courbet, Daumier, Millet
Impressionism (1865–1885)
It originated in France. The aim is on visual perception to capture the brief sensory effect of a scene, depicting nudes and nature. The characteristics include thin, small brush strokes, movement, stress on the accurate portrayal of light, open composition, ordinary subject matter. Capturing fleeting effects of natural light Monet, Manet, Renoir, Pissarro, Cassatt, Morisot, Degas
Post-Impressionism (1885–1910)
It’s a term for describing the reaction against impressionism. It favors symbolic content, structure and formal order. Post impressionism explores the emotional response of the artist, colour, line and form. A soft revolt against Impressionism Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, Seurat
Fauvism and Expressionism (1900–1935)
Fauvism developed in Paris. It’s a style of painting incorporating vibrant manifestation and non-naturalistic use of colour. The paint was aggressively applied from the paint tubes onto the canvas to create explosion.
Expressionism articulates emotional experience rather than impressions of the external world. Exaggeration, distortion and symbolism are characteristics of expressionism.

Harsh colors and flat surfaces (Fauvism); emotion distorting
form Matisse, Kirchner, Kandinsky, Marc
Cubism, Futurism, Supremativism, Constructivism, De Stijl
With Cubanism a person or object is shown as geometric shapes, lines and angles. It appears flattened and two dimensional. The colour palette is neutral. The paintings are not meant to be lifelike, its abstract art. Futurism began in Italy, rejecting traditional art forms. Its emphasis is on youth, speed, technology and violence. Embracing advanced technology and modernisation. Constructivism was developed in Russia. It’s devout to modernity with the idea that art should highlight how ideas and resources make a communist society more industrious and stronger. It encompasses geometric themes, experiments and lacking emotion. De stijl was a Dutch artistic movement. The idea of harmony and order were given through abstract designs using geometric forms and primary colours. Pre– and Post–World War 1 art experiments: new
forms to express modern life Picasso, Braque, Leger, Marinetti, Boccioni, Severini, Malevich
Dada and Surrealism (1917–1950)
Formed during the First World War in Zurich, dada was formed in a negative reaction to the terrors and madness of the war. It attempts to depict subjects that are in agreement with irreligious empirical rules. The artistic nature of Dada is marked by its ridicule of covetous and chauvinistic attitudes. The movement ended with the formation of Surrealism. Dada artists are known for their use of readymade objects – everyday objects that could be bought and presented as art with little influence by the artist. Surrealism was founded in Paris. Better known for its visual artworks and writings. Its goal was to free thought, language, and human experience from the cruel restrictions of rationalism.
They believed that revelations could be found on the street and in everyday life. Ridiculous art; painting dreams and exploring the
unconscious Duchamp, Dalí, Ernst, Magritte, de Chirico, Kahlo

Abstract Expressionism (1940s–1950s) and Pop Art
(1960s) Post–World War II: pure abstraction and expression
without form; popular art absorbs consumerism Gorky, Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko, Warhol, Lichtenstein
Postmodernism and Deconstructivism (1970– )
Art without a center and reworking and mixing past styles Gerhard Richter, Cindy Sherman, Anselm Kiefer, Frank Gehry,
Zaha Hadid


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