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The Byzantine Style

Example of Byzantine style painting and architecture (click to Enlarge)

The Byzantine Era Started from the Age of Justinian (527-565) and lasted until 1453 The Byzantine is a very easy style to identify, because of the stylized, rigid formality of the figures as well as the symmetrical folds of the draperies, which often show a sort of antiquated charm. The Byzantine style is not so much accurate representation but as a suggestion and symbolism. According to "It is noticeable in these Byzantine pictures that while the figure-painting is often really excellent, the design skilful, and the pose natural, the landscape, trees, etc., are quite symbolic and fanciful. The painters seem to have been utterly ignorant of perspective. Buildings, too, without any regard to relative proportion, are colored merely as parts of a colour scheme. They are pink, pale green, yellow, violet, blue, just to please the eye. That the painter had a system of colourharmony is plain, but he paid no regard to the facts of city life, unless, indeed, it was the practice of the medieval Byzantines to paint the outside of their houses in this truly brilliant style. " The Byzantine period was tremendously culturally productive, in painting, sculpture, architecture andilluminated manuscripts. Artists emphasized transcendent time and place; the only worldly concern was with how one must behave in order to get into heaven. Thus the figures in Byzantine art tend to "hover" in space without weight and solidness, without inhabiting a three-dimensional space. The monasteries owned vast libraries and engaged in the copying of manuscripts. Manuscript paintings were generally styled after classical paintings of late antiquity.

Byzantine mosaics are bedecked with gold leaf and iridescent glass tiles, radiating a shimmering, heavenly light. The effect of the composition together with the precious materials, lift the holy figures into a divine spiritual place. The figures themselves are symmetrical, repetitive, and little emotion or individualism is expressed in their calm faces.

Byzantine sovereigns adored gold in a sumptuous way, and on a grand scale. They had no use for simple, plain jewelry or furnishings. The royal thrones were made of solid gold; even their battle gear was festooned with jewels and gilded with gold and silver. Households of the upper class possessed a immense silver table, and solid silver tableware. Throughout the life of the Byzantine Empire, the Eastern Orthodox Church also played an important social role. Sacred images, commissioned by the church acted as moral instruction to the illiterate peasants who clamored for enlightenment of the holy scriptures.

Gothic Painting
1100 - 1450

the age of faith


. The Gothic period was tremendously culturally productive, in painting, sculpture, architecture and illuminated manuscripts. These art-works are complex, fraught with religious fervor and symbolism. Biblical stories were told and retold continuously--painted, sermonized, allegorized, embellished, creating a convincing and mysterious belief system. The Gothic style of painting started in Italy and quickly spread throughout the rest of Europe. Gothic paintings are darkly mystical, infused with an ethereal emotional intensity. The mysticism of theMiddle Ages imparts a sense of uniqueness and wonder to Gothic art. Painters such as Hieronymus Bosch, had a taste for the poetic and his use of symbols are secretive hints and glances into the mysterious world that lies behind the painted one. According to Medieval historian, Julia De Wolf Addison, "In medieval art, the beauty of line, the sense of horror, and the voluptuous spirit, are all more or less subservient to the light-hearted buoyancy of a keen sense of fun. To illustrate this point, I wish to call the attention of the reader to the wit of the monastic scribes during the Gothic period. Who could look at the little animals which are found tucked away almost out of sight in the flowery margins of many illuminated manuscripts, without seeing that the artist himself must have been amused at their pranks, and intended others to be so? One can picture a gray-hooded brother, chuckling alone at his own wit, carefully tracing a jolly little grotesque, and then stealing softly to the alcove of some congenial spirit, and in a whisper inviting his friend to come and see the satire

which he has carefully introduced: "A perfect portrait of the Bishop, only with claws instead of legs! So very droll! And dear brother, while you are here, just look at the expression of this Page 352 little rabbit's ears, while he listens to the bombastic utterance of this monkey who wears a stole!" The International Gothic style of paintings was a reflection of the transformation that was taking place in Europe, the change from the Dark Ages to a more enlightened, tolerant society. According to Historian Hendrik van Loon, "People were tremendously alive. Great states were being founded. Large centres of commerce were being developed. High above the turretted towers of the castle and the peaked roof of the town-hall, rose the slender spire of the newly built Gothic cathedral. Everywhere the world was in motion. The high and mighty gentlemen of the city-hall, who had just become conscious of their own strength (by way of their recently acquired riches) were struggling for more power with their feudal masters. " With the triumph of Christianity, Gothic artists aspired to reawaken the divine spirit of holy figures rather than depict their physical qualities. Their unique style is a combination of frontal simplicity, truth to nature, harmonious unity together with precision in details. The use of costly materials such as gold, precious stones and ivory indicates the degree of wealth that was common during this period, and attests to the sophistication of the Gothic culture. Gothic style represented early Christian culture and values as well as courtly splendor. Most prominently featured are the holy symbols of the Christian faith--Christ, Saints, The Cross, Virgin Mary, Chalice, Keys, The Anchor, Wheat , Animals, Fish, Angels, Birds, Insect s and Satan and his henchmen.

Rococo Art
1710-1750

About the Rococo Art Movement


'The Art of the Aristocracy'

The word is derived from "rocaille" (pebble), but the term referred in particular to the small stones and shells used to adorn the interiors of grottoes. Such shells or shell forms were the primary motifs in Rococo ornament. The Rococo movement was initially restricted to France, later spreading to all of Europe and above all to England. The movement continued to develop

until the arrival ofNeoclassicism which attempted to return to the purism of classical antiquity. Rococo art themes centered around carefree aristocrats at play in make-believe settings. Cherubs were often included in the mix to give the work a touch of delightful whimsy. Romantic scenes depict luxuriously costumed ladies and gentlemen flirting, picnicking and playing music at gallant country parties. The background scenery is often a serene natural setting with delicate trees and sprays of roses. Colors are a profusion of soothing, light pastels. Famous Rocco painter, Joshua Reynolds stated "Raphael and Titian seem to have looked at Nature for different purposes; they both had the power of extending their view to the whole; but one looked only for the general effect as produced by form, the other as produced by colour." The Rococo style began as a backlash against Baroque formality and stuffiness. Unlike Baroque, Rococo is not concerned with religious matters or dramatic expression. The highly decorative art and design movement began in Paris, France in the early 1700s and is sometimes called the style of Louis XV (15th) . The style is profoundly symbolic of the hedonism of the European upper-classes. Rocco manner is characterized by graceful, enchanting, lighthearted themes of flirting and unrequited, melancholic love among the aristocracy. Sentiment was expressed over reason and emotionalism was expressed over intellect. Paintings are animated and clever, reflecting an impishly sensual daydream. Rococo Portraiture Rocco paintings feature beautiful aristocrats decked out in velvet, elegant laces and rich golden embroideries. The figures are tall and willowy, stylish and charming. The faces are presented as soft and rosy, effeminate and eternally young. Noblemen are depicted wearing feminine coiffeurs, rouged lips and cheeks, often sporting high heels. Family portraits are dreamy and light hearted. Servants are depicted happily serving their aristocratic employers and were often included in family portraits. The Rocco female figures are delicate and light; the faces, are childish and sentimental. The lines of the mouth curve in soft mischief or in a delicate enchanting smile.

Key Descriptive Words and Phrases associated with the Rococo Movement - Late Baroque, tapestry, Charlottenburg Palace, Versailles, 18th century, France, colloquialism, Louis XV's reign, frills, powdered wigs, masks, whimsy, garish makeup, men in high heels, cherubs, elaborate recipes, pre-revolution, rediscovery of the classical world, Chteau de Chantilly, ethereal background scenery, melodramatic, decorative, Age of Discovery, axonometric drawing, curiosity about the natural world, pastel colors, romanticized

landscapes, courtship

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Examples of Rococo painting click to enlarge

Mannerism
The name mannerism comes from the Italian maniera, which translates to 'style'

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Mannerism is an artistic style that surfaced after the Sack of Rome on May 6 1527, when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor descended upon Rome raping, plundering and massacring. Many great artworks were destroyed or carted off. This senseless slaughter unhinged Renaissance confidence, humanism and way of thinking to the core. The style originated in Rome and later widened to all of Europe. Mannerists paintings are characterized by elongated limbs, thin aquiline noses, overly stylized figures, undersized heads, electrifying, vibrant colors and elaborately mannered, theatrical compositions. According to Renaissance scholar John C. Van Dyke "They produced large, crowded compositions, with a hasty facility of the brush and striking effects of light. Seeking the grand they overshot the temperate. Their elegance was affected, their sentiment forced, their brilliancy superficial glitter. When they thought to be ideal they lost themselves in incomprehensible allegories; when they thought to be real they grew prosaic in

detail. These men are known in art history as the Mannerists, and the men whose works they imitated were chiefly Raphael, Michael Angelo, and Correggio. " The Mannerists in Italy worked on generous commission for a restricted audience of Vatican powerbrokers and royalty. The subjects they were allowed to portray was controlled and restricted to biblical themes, portraiture and occasionally mythology. El Greco said to hell with the money went off to Spain to pursue his own amazing vision. Masters of The Mannerist Style Paolo Veronese Jacopo da Pontormo Alessandro Allori El Greco Giorgio Vasari Giovanni Rosso Fiorentino Agnolo Bronzino Parmigianino

The word Neoclassical comes from the translates to 'New Classical'

Neoclassical Art
"The Art of The French Revolution"

1750-1850

Description and Origins of the Neoclassic Art Movement The heart of Neo-Classical movement was centered in Rome, where expatriate artists congregated around the flamboyant German classical archaeologist and art critic Johann Joachim Wincklemann. Winckelmann gushed about the "noble simplicity and quiet grandeur of Greek sculpture, which he believed to be the most perfect beauty ever created by human hands, and recommended that artists emulate these classical forms. The period is called neoclassical because its artists looked back to the art and culture of classical Greece and Rome. The word Neoclassical comes from the translates to 'New Classical'. Wincklemann wrote about roman archeological excavations and touted the homoeroticism of Greco-Roman art, writing explicit descriptions erotic male sculptures from Classical Antiquity thereby encouraging an interest in Greek antiquities. According to Winckelmanns biographer, Walter Pater, "his affinity with Hellenism was not merely intellectual, that the subtler threads of temperament were interwoven in it, is proved by his romantic, fervent friendships with young men. He has known, he says, many young men more beautiful than Guidos archangel. These friendships, bringing him into contact with the pride of human form, and staining the thoughts with its bloom, perfected his reconciliation to the spirit of Greek sculpture. " Neoclassical art is characterized by its classical form and structure, clarity, and to an degree, realism. More than just a classical revival, Neo-Classicism was directly connected to contemporary political events. Neo-Classical artists at first wanted to supplant the eroticism and frivolity of the Rococo stylewith a style that was orderly and serious in character. French Neoclassism painters emphasis's patriotism, as well as a sense of civility and honorableness. The movement was particularly connected with the beliefs of the French Revolution and was seen as anti-aristocratic. The fantasy-based aristocratic art of the Rococo era seemed an insult upon the rights of men and was vilified by critics and the general public. In an age of sweeping revolution and transformation Neoclassicism became the art of change.

French painter Jacques-Louis David was infatuated with the former grandeur of Rome and even painted the tiny, pudgy Napoleon as a magnificent warrior astride a white stallion. David declared "I will never, for the future, paint the portrait of a tyrant until his head lies before me on the scaffold." Mythology, Revolutionary themes, folklore, legends, and the calm grandeur of a bygone era were all favored themes for Neoclassical painters.

The Symbolist Painters 1870-1910

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The Symbolist movement was an artistic uprising opposed to Naturalism, Realism andImpressionism. Jean Moreas's Symbolist Manifesto, published in Le Figaro in 1886, stated that realism was obsolete and declared that symbolism was the model to be treasured hence forth. The basic philosophy of this aesthetic movement was a belief that the passing tangible world is not true reality, but a reflection of the unseen Absolute. The writings of Edgar Allan Poe, and Joris Karl Huysmans, and the Gothic and Romanticism style were major influences. Painters based their imagery on magical, sacred and occasionally mythological themes. Some painters combined painting with mythology, inspired by literary symbolism, exoticism and orientalism.Odilon Redons images seems to drift, even having an element of Japanese Painting. A significant number of the artists dabbled in sorcery, witchcraft and ancient Druid religion. Symbolist Writers: Joris-Karl Huysmans, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, T. S. Eliot, Rene Vivien, William Blake, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Albert Samain, Rmy de Gourmont A List of the Greatest Symbolist Painters Man Ray American 1890-1976

Odilon Redon 1840-1916 Edvard Munch Norwegian, 1863-1944 Gustave Moreau French 1826-1898 Diego Rivera Mexican, 1886-1957 William Blake British, 1757-1827

Romanticism
1782-1830
"For the objects of contemplation it has to produce, Art requires not only an external given material - (under which are also included subjective images and ideas), but - for the expression of spiritual truth - must use the given forms of nature with a significance which art must divine and possess . " -- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel c. 1830, Romanticist writer and philosopher

Romanticism started in Germany and quickly moved to England in the early 1780s. In the beginning the romantic movement was advanced mainly by a number of German writers and poets. Their influence on painters was inspiring and lasting. The Romantics exalted courtly love and sought only poetry and truth. They refused to be restricted by the traditional approach to still-lifes, seascapes, and landscapes. They explored a classical and increasingly decorative painting style in which structure, forms and luminescent colours were seen as having the power to evoke an emotional, and even spiritual, response in the viewer. Music, literature and art acquired profound or idealistic meaning. Legends, folklore, mythology and fairytales were rich sources of inspiration. The Romantics dreamed of a world made better through art that would articulate ideal beauty and the nobleness of the true love.

Masters of Romanticism
William Blake British, 1757-1827 Romantic Painter Eugne Delacroix French, 1798 - 1863 Romantic Painter John Constable English, 1776-1837 Romantic Painter

Classical Greek Art

The Greek Style


In Greece, painting first ceased to be subordinate to architecture, and became independent. Greek painters used home made pigments, individual to each artist. The recipes were guarded closely and handed down generation to generation. Most home-made pigments were created from bone, charcoal, ground stone, and naturally occurring earth pigments. According to art historian, Walter Pater, "The supreme Hellenic culture is a sharp edge of light across this gloom. The fiery, stupefying wine becomes in a happier climate clear and exhilarating. The Dorian worship of Apollo, rational, chastened, debonair, with his unbroken daylight, always opposed to the sad Chthonian divinities, is the aspiring element, by force and spring of which Greek religion sublimes itself. Out of Greek religion, under happy conditions, arises Greek art, to minister to human culture. It was the privilege of Greek religion to be able to transform itself into an artistic ideal." In early days, there was skill in the ornamentation of vases and in mural painting. Yet, with much spirit and feeling, there was a conventional treatment. The earliest artist of whom we know much is Polygnotus, about 420 B.C., whose groups of profile figures were described as remarkable for their life-like character and fine coloring. Apollodorus of Athens was distinguished, but Zeuxis of Heraclea is said to have been the first to paint movable pictures. He is famed for his marvelous power of imitation: the birds pecked at a bunch of grapes which he painted. But even he was outdone by Parrhasius. Zeuxis, however, had far higher qualities than those of a literal copyist. The most successful of the Greek painters was Apelles. Among his masterpieces was a painting of Venus rising from the waves, and a portrait of Alexander the Great. We have not in painting, as in sculpture, a store of monuments of Greek art; but the skill of the Greeks in painting fell behind their unequaled genius in molding the human form in bronze and marble. The Greeks more and more broke away in a free and joyous spirit from the stiff and conventional styles of Egyptian and Oriental art. In the room of the somber, massive edifices of Egypt, they combined symmetry and beauty with grandeur in the temples which they

erected. The temples were originally colored within and without. Three styles were developed, the Doric, the Ionic, and the Corinthian. In the Doric, the column and entablature have the most solid and simple form. The column has no other base than the common platform on which the pillars rest, and the capital that surmounts it is a plain slab. Originality is a distinguishing trait in Classic Greek Art. Whatever the Greeks borrowed from others they made their own, and reproduced in a form peculiar to themselves. They were never servile copyists. A spirit of humanity, in the broad sense of the term, pervades their painting, sculpture and mosaics. Their sense of form, including a perception of beauty, of harmony and proportion-made them the leaders of Western Civilization. -Richard Muther, The History of Painting, Henry and Co., London, 1896 Greek painting Techniques and Formula Greek artists created their masterpieces using homemade pigments. Pigments were made according to ancient recipes. Artists used many different ingredients to achieve the desired colors, including burnt apple seeds, pulverized semiprecious stones such as lapis lazuli, charcoal, animal and human bones, naturally occurring earth pigments such celadonite and chlorite, pomegranate juice and ground up ibulio beetles. Each artist mixing up his own a batch to use as needed. Egg tempera is a radiant, semi-translucent paint that dries almost immediately. The process of setting up the paint was time consuming and technical. The artist used 1 egg, 1 tsp. raw olive oil, a few drops if vinegar added to ground pigment. The process to make just one color took about 30 minutes. Brushes were made from squirrel hair, hogs bristle and cat whiskers. Toxic pigments . Many of the pigments were extremely toxic causing the person mixing them to have oozing sores that never healed, patches of baldness, fingernails that fell off and in a few short years a painful ugly death. Old slaves were usually employed to grind up the pigments and mix up the binders.

After the Greeks The Romans like the Greeks loved beauty and art. Upper income people had every wall of their home decorated with beautiful murals. Romans favored nature scenes with birds in flight, fish, dogs and exotic animals. Mythological scenes and philosophers in contemplation were also popular. Soc, According to noted historian, Hendrik van Loon "The Romans, like their Carthaginian rivals, were too busy administering other people and making money to have much love for useless and unprofitable adventures of the spirit. They conquered the world and built roads and bridges but they borrowed their art wholesale from the Greeks. They invented certain practical forms of architecture which answered the demands of their day and age. But their statues and their histories and their mosaics and their poems were mere Latin imitations of Greek originals. Without that vague and hard-to- define something which the world calls personality, there can be no art and the Roman world distrusted that particular sort of personality. The Empire needed efficient soldiers and tradesmen. The business of writing poetry or making pictures was left to foreigners."

Egyptian History and Art


Egyptian art from any time period firmly adheres to the same rigid code of design. The style is called frontalism. This is why Egyptian art remained practically unchanged for nearly 3,000 years. In sculpture and paintings frontailsm means that the stance is always frontal and bisymmetrical, with arms close to the trunk and the head of the individual/creature is always drawn in profile, the leg is turned to the same side as the head, with one foot placed in front of the other. Egyptian art spans over 4000 years and includes the Old Kingdom 3200 - 2185 BC, Middle Kingdom 2040 - 1650 BC, New Kingdom 1550 - 1070 BC . According to art historian, S. Spooner "The Egyptian painters and sculptors designed their figures in a style peculiarly stiff and formal, with the legs invariably closed, except in some instances in the tombs of the Kings at Thebes, and their arms stuck to their sides, as if they had consulted no other models than their bandaged mummies. The reasons why the Egyptians never made any progress in art till the time of the Greco-Egyptian kings, were their manners and customs, which prohibited any innovations, and compelled every one to follow the

beaten track of his cast, without the least deviation from established rules, thus chaining down genius, and the stimulus of emulation, honor, renown and reward. " Origins of the Egyptian People and Art According to Egyptian historian George Rawlinson "Where the Egyptians came from, is a difficult question to answer. Ancient speculators, when they could not derive a people definitely from any other, took refuge in the statement, or the figment, that they were the children of the soil which they had always occupied. Modern theorists may say, if it please them, that they were evolved out of the monkeys that had their primitive abode on that particular portion of the earth's surface. Monkeys, however, are not found everywhere; and we have no evidence that in Egypt they were ever indigenous, though, as pets, they were very common, the Egyptians delighting in keeping them. Such evidence as we have reveals to us the man as anterior to the monkey in the land of Mizraim Thus we are thrown back on the original question Where did the man, or race of men, that is found in Egypt at the dawn of history come from? It is generally answered that they came from Asia; but this is not much more than a conjecture. The physical type of the Egyptians is different from that of any known Asiatic nation. The Egyptians had no traditions that at all connected them with Asia. Their language, indeed, in historic times was partially Semitic, and allied to the Hebrew, the Phnician, and the Aramaic; but the relationship was remote, and may be partly accounted for by later intercourse, without involving original derivation. The fundamental character of the Egyptian in respect of physical type, language, and tone of thought, is Nigritic. The Egyptians were not negroes, but they bore a resemblance to the negro which is indisputable. Their type differs from the Caucasian in exactly those respects which when exaggerated produce the negro. They were darker, had thicker lips, lower foreheads, larger heads, more advancing jaws, a flatter foot, and a more attenuated frame. It is quite conceivable that the negro type was produced by a gradual degeneration from that which we find in Egypt. It is even conceivable that the Egyptian type was produced by gradual advance and amelioration from that of the negro. Still, whencesoever derived, the Egyptian people, as it existed in the flourishing times of Egyptian history, was beyond all question a mixed race, showing diverse affinities. Whatever the people was originally, it received into it from time to time various foreign elements, and those in such quantities as seriously to affect its physique Ethiopians from the south, Libyans from the west, Semites from the north-east, where Africa adjoined on Asia. There are two quite different types of Egyptian form and feature, blending together in the mass of the nation, but strongly developed, and (so to

speak) accentuated in individuals. One is that which we see in portraits of Rameses III, and in some of Remises II.a moderately high forehead, a large, well-formed aquiline nose, a well-shaped mouth with lips not over full, and a delicately rounded chin. The other is comparatively coarseforehead low, nose depressed and short, lower part of the face prognathous and sensual-looking, chin heavy, jaw large, lips thick and projecting. The two types of face are not, however, accompanied by much difference of frame. The Egyptian is always slight in figure, wanting in muscle, flat in foot, with limbs that are too long, too thin, too lady-like. Something more of muscularity appears, perhaps, in the earlier than in the later forms; but this is perhaps attributable to a modification of the artistic ideal."

Religion in Egypt According to Herodotus "They are religious excessively beyond all other men, and with regard to this they have customs as follows:they drink from cups of bronze and rinse them out every day, and not some only do this but all: they wear garments of linen always newly washed, and this they make a special point of practice: they circumcise themselves for the sake of cleanliness, preferring to be clean rather than comely. The priests shave themselves all over their body every other day, so that no lice or any other foul thing may come to be upon them when they minister to the gods; and the priests wear garments of linen only and sandals of papyrus, and any other garment they may not take nor other sandals; these wash themselves in cold water twice in a day and twice again in the night; and other religious services they perform (one may almost say) of infinite number. They enjoy also good things not a few, for they do not consume or spend anything of their own substance, but there is sacred bread baked for them and they have each great quantity of flesh of oxen and geese coming in to them each day, and also wine of grapes is given to them; but it is not permitted to them to taste of fish: beans moreover the Egyptians do not at all sow in their land, and those which they grow they neither eat raw nor boil for food; nay the priests do not endure even to look upon them, thinking this to be an unclean kind of pulse: and there is not one priest only for each of the gods but many, and of them one is chief-priest, and whenever a priest dies his son is appointed to his place."

Roman art
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fresco from the Villa of the Mysteries. Pompeii, 80 BC Roman art refers to the visual arts made in Ancient Rome and in the territories of the Roman Empire. Roman art includes architecture, painting, sculpture and mosaic work. Luxury objects in metal-work, gem engraving, ivory carvings, and glass, are sometimes considered in modern terms to be minor forms of Roman art,[1] although this would not necessarily have been the case for contemporaries. Sculpture was perhaps considered as the highest form of art by Romans, but figure painting was also very highly regarded. The two forms have had very contrasting rates of survival, with a very large body of sculpture surviving from about the 1st century BC onwards, though very little from before, but very little painting at all remains, and probably nothing that a contemporary would have considered to be of the highest quality.Ancient Roman pottery was not a luxury product, but a vast production of "fine wares" in terra sigillata were decorated with reliefs that reflected the latest taste, and provided a large group in society with stylish objects at what was evidently an affordable price. Roman coins were an important means of propaganda, and have survived in enormous numbers. Other perishable forms of art have not survived at all.

Types of Visual Art


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There are three basic types of Visual Art. Subcategories exist in each of these types. Often, these types are misrepresented or more often, misunderstood. Whether the work is three dimensional sculpture or two dimensional, it will still fall under one these

three main types. These types are representational, abstract, or nonobjective. The intent of the artist often times informs us on the type of art at which we are viewing. Beyond this, the application of the medium can also have an effect on the type of artwork.

Representational Art
Representational artwork aims to represent actual objects or subjects from reality. Subcategories under representational art include Realism, Impressionism, Idealism, and Stylization. All of these forms of representationalism represent actual subjects from reality. Although some of these forms are taking steps toward abstraction, they still fall under the category of representation. Representational art is perhaps the oldest of the three types of art. It can be traced back to the Paleolithic figurine, The Venus of Willendorf. It is also the easiest to digest from a viewer's perspective. We can easily identify with recognizable subjects in apainting, drawing, or sculpture. This makes representational art widely accepted among the masses. Representational art also represents the largest collection of artwork created. Considering that the other two types, abstract and non-objective, are relatively new types of art, this makes perfect sense. Representational art has gone through many phases and movements, yet the principle of presenting the viewer with recognizable subject matter has stayed the same. It is worth noting that some representational art flirts with abstraction. It could be said that some representational artwork happens to be more realistic while other forms focus on the artist's perception of the subject.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Two Sisters (on the Terrace), 1881

Abstract Art

Georges Braque. Woman with Guitar, 1913

The often misunderstood type of art known as abstraction aims to take subjects from reality but present them in way that is different from the way they are viewed in our reality. This may take the form of emphasizing lines, shapes, or colors that transform the subject. Abstract art includes the subcategories of Minimalism, Cubism, and Precisionism. Abstraction can also happen when the artist decides to Renee Magritte. The Treachery of view the subjects in a non- traditional Images, 1928-1929 manner. Abstraction is relatively new to the art world, having it's earliest roots in the deviations from reality taken by the Impressionists. It began to gain popularity in various forms around the world at the end of the 19th century. Artists began to take a more intellectual approach to painting. This new way of approaching art is evidenced in the Magritte painting entitled, "The Treachery of Images", 1928-1929. Written in French under a representational painting of a pipe, is the phrase, "This is not a pipe." The point is that the painting is indeed not a pipe, but rather a painting of a pipe. Artists of this time where now approaching paintings as paintings, allowing for a new form of intellectual expression. Many people have difficultly in understanding the differences between abstract art and nonobjective art. The clear difference lies in the subject matter chosen. If the artist begins with a subject from reality, the artwork is considered to be abstract. If the artist is creating with no reference to reality, then the work is considered to be non-objective.

Non-Objective Art
The third type of art is often mistaken for Abstract art although it is entirely different from it. Non-Objective art takes nothing from reality. It is created purely for aesthetic reasons. The intent of Non-objective art is to use the elements and principles of art in a way that results in a visually stimulating work. It is purely that simple.

Jackson Pollock. Number One 1948