[U8]: Task 5 – Art Movements

Different types of art movements


It’s name means ‘the rebirth’ which was given to it because it is the revival of classical learning and wisdom after a long period of cultural decline. It is the period right after Middle Ages and it starts with Humanism initiated by men of letters. The biggest, as well as the initial effect could be seen in Italy. Flourishing especially in the arts. Art became much more important gaining its principles of balance, harmony and perspective with many emerging artists widely known today such as: Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Sandro Botticelli, Donatello and many others.

In simple terms the Renaissance art is a reincarnation of the old Greek art, mainly paintings and sculpture, focusing a lot on the human body due to Humanism.


This type of art only started to really emerge as a contrast to Neoclassical art. Due to Neoclassicism’s way of portraying everything seriously and unemotionally Romanticism started to gain more attention as people wanted to show the emotion and feeling through painting and sculpture as well as even showing it through buildings with Victorian Architecture.


The Pre-Raphaelite era began with a revolutionist group of artists who called themselves PRB (Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood). Art is only considered Pre-Raphaelite if it was made by the PRB or its followers. The PRB believed that for the art world to be reborn they needed to go against what the Royal Academy was teaching art students. Everyone in PRB disagreed with Royal Academy’s method’s. So this type of art had the goal of going against everything that Royal Academy taught ‘for example, if the Royal Academy schools taught art students to compose paintings with (a) pyramidal groupings of figures, (b) one major source of light at one side matched by a lesser one on the opposite, and (c) an emphasis on rich shadow and tone at the expense of color, the PRB with brilliant perversity painted bright-colored, evenly lit pictures that appeared almost flat.’


Possibly the first type of modern movement in painting originated with artists who rejected the official government sanctioned exhibitions and due to that they were ignored by powerful academic institutions.

What the eye perceives and what the brain understands are two different things, impressionists sought to capture a single second in life with intense colours and loose brushes the way our eyes would perceive it, focusing away from fine detail. Giving paintings the feeling of being unfinished.


There was wide array of different art styles in this art movement, all encompass a bit of impressionism but rather than looking at how the world is and trying to capture the moment realistically it was a lot personal and subjective. The artist had freedom to paint the world how he perceived it. Due to that everything started becoming more abstract and colour dominated the effect of the paintings.


Having some of its origins from Post-impressionism’s new turn towards abstractness cubism went even further and abandoned perspective and backed away from realistic figures. It explored all kinds of forms and different figures piercing and interacting with each other; abstract geometric objects from various angles. The us of non-art material as abstract signs came along a bit later, for example the use of newspaper, which led historians to believe the artists were fully aware of current events, particularly of the World War.


It was the transition from romanticism into modernism. It had feeling and emotion; it was all about meaning and what the artist was thinking. The psychological meaning behind the physical realm, the hidden truth was the aim of these paintings, which was also seen through literature in this era. The artist could express his opinion and critique events, people, opinions through paintings as it was very subjective.

Expressionism (1905 – 1933)

In part a reaction against impressionism and academic art inspired mostly by symbolist artists. Art now came from within the artist instead of the depiction of the external visual world, it involved painting with swirling, swaying and exaggerated brush strokes to recreate the emotional state of the artist towards the subject he was painting. Through their paintings they developed a powerful social criticism method painting their representations of the modern city and even prostitutes.

Surrealism Art

A bizarre form of art that involves an extreme use of imagination and complete dismissal of realism. Surrealism artists were all different because each relied on their own ways, reasons and inspiration for art but it was all about forgetting rationality and letting your mind flow releasing all of your thoughts while dipping into your unconscious; releasing your imagination to the fullest. A lot of the inspiration came from dreams. As bizarre as it is that was one of the purposes of the art: to perplex and pop the viewer out of their comfortable assumptions.

Pop Art

One of the most recognisable forms of art due to the cartoonish look. Pop art removed the boundaries between ‘high’ art and ‘low’ culture art and showed that artists can take inspiration from any source. They painted commonplace objects and people from everyday life turning popular culture into fine art. Pop artists believed everything is interconnected and sought to make those connections appear in their artwork.


Contemporary art, also known as Modern art, began in the midst of 19th century along with realism but the approaches to style were defined and redefined throughout the 20th century. Modern art tries to innovate new ways to represent the artist’s experiences. By rejecting the traditional styles the artists tries to portray the world in the way that it is according to his unique view.


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Justin Wolf. (2017). Expressionism Movement Overview and Analysis. Available: http://www.theartstory.org/movement-expressionism.htm. Last accessed 30th Mar 2017.



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