History of art

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The history of art focuses on objects made by humans in visual form for aesthetic purposes. Visual art can be classified in diverse ways, such as separating fine arts from applied arts; inclusively focusing on human creativity; or focusing on different media such as architecture, sculpture, painting, film, photography, and graphic arts. In recent years, technological advances have led to video art, computer art, Performance art, animation, television, and videogames.

The history of art is often told as a chronology of masterpieces created during each civilization. It can thus be framed as a story of high culture, epitomized by the Wonders of the World. On the other hand, vernacular art expressions can also be integrated into art historical narratives, referred to as folk arts or craft. The more closely that an art historian engages with these latter forms of low culture, the more likely it is that they will identify their work as examining visual culture or material culture, or as contributing to fields related to art history, such as anthropology or archaeology. In the latter cases art objects may be referred to as archeological artifacts.

Prehistory

Aurochs on a cave painting in Lascaux, France

The oldest human art that has been found dates to the Stone Age, when the first creative works were made from shell, stone, and paint. During the Paleolithic (25,000–8,000 BCE), humans practiced hunting and gathering and lived in caves, where cave painting was developed.[1] During the Neolithic period (6000–3000 BCE), the production of handicrafts commenced.

The earliest human artifacts showing evidence of workmanship with an artistic purpose are the subject of some debate. It is clear that such workmanship existed by 40,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithic era, although it is quite possible that it began earlier. Engraved shells created by homo erectus dating as far back as 500,000 years ago have been found, although experts disagree on whether these engravings can be properly classified as ‘art’.[2]

Paleolithic

The Paleolithic had its first artistic manifestation in 25,000 BCE, reaching its peak in the Magdalenian period (±15,000–8,000 BCE). Surviving art from this period includes small carvings in stone or bone and cave painting. The first traces of human-made objects appeared in southern Africa, the Western Mediterranean, Central and Eastern Europe (Adriatic Sea), Siberia (Baikal Lake), India and Australia. These first traces are generally worked stone (flint, obsidian), wood or bone tools. To paint in red, iron oxide was used. Cave paintings have been found in the Franco-Cantabrian region. There are pictures that are abstract as well as pictures that are naturalistic. Animals were painted in the caves of Altamira, Trois Frères, Chauvet and Lascaux. Sculpture is represented by the so-called Venus figurines, feminine figures which may have been used in fertility cults, such as the Venus of Willendorf.[3] There is a theory that these figures may have been made by women as expressions of their own body.[4] Other representative works of this period are the Man from Brno[5] and the Venus of Brassempouy.[6]

Neolithic

Reconstruction of a cave painting at Roca dels Moros, El Cogul

The Neolithic period began in about 8,000 BCE. The rock art of the Iberian Mediterranean Basin—dated between the Mesolithic and Neolithic eras—contained small, schematic paintings of human figures, with notable examples in El Cogul, Valltorta, Alpera and Minateda.

Neolithic painting is similar to paintings found in northern Africa (Atlas, Sahara) and in the area of modern Zimbabwe. Neolithic painting is often schematic, made with basic strokes (men in the form of a cross and women in a triangular shape). There are also cave paintings in Pinturas River in Argentina, especially the Cueva de las Manos. In portable art, a style called Cardium Pottery was produced, decorated with imprints of seashells. New materials were used in art, such as amber, crystal, and jasper. In this period, the first traces of urban planning appeared, such as the remains in Tell as-Sultan (Jericho), Jarmo (Iraq) and Çatalhöyük (Anatolia).[7]

Metal Age

Stonehenge, a complex megalith

The last 'prehistoric phase is the Metal Age, during which the use of copper, bronze and iron transformed ancient societies. When humans could smelt metal and forge metal implements could make new tools, weapons, and art.

In the Chalcolithic (Copper Age) Megaliths emerged, and massive monuments of stone were built. Examples include the dolmen and menhir and the English cromlech, as can be seen in the complexes at Newgrange and Stonehenge.[8] In Spain the Los Millares culture was formed, characterized by the Beaker culture, characterized by human figures with big eyes. In Malta, the temple complexes of Ħaġar Qim, Mnajdra, Tarxien and Ġgantija were built. In the Balearic Islands notable megalithic cultures developed, with different types of monuments: the naveta, a tomb shaped like a truncated pyramid, with an elongated burial chamber; the taula, two large stones, one put vertically and the other horizontally above each other; and the talaiot, a tower with a covered chamber and a false dome.[9]

In the Iron Age the cultures of Hallstatt (Austria) and La Tene (Switzerland) emerged in Europe. The first was developed between the 7th and 5th century BCE by the necropoleis with tumular tombs and a wooden burial chamber in the form of a house, often accompanied by a four-wheeled cart. The pottery was polychromic, with geometric decorations and applications of metallic ornaments. La Tene was developed between the 5th and 4th century BCE, and is more popularly known as early Celtic art. It produced many iron objects such as swords and spears, which have not survived well to the 2000s due to rust.

The Bronze Age refers to the period when bronze was the best material available. Bronze was used for highly decorated shields, fibulas, and other objects, with different stages of evolution of the style. Decoration was influenced by Greek, Etruscan and Scythian art.[10]

Ancient art

In the first period of recorded history, art coincided with writing. The great civilizations of the Near East: Egypt and Mesopotamia arose. Globally, during this period the first great cities appeared near major rivers: the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates, Indus and Yellow Rivers.

One of the great advances of this period was writing, which was developed from the tradition of communication using pictures. The first form of writing were the Jiahu symbols from neolithic China, but the first true writing was cuneiform script, which emerged in Mesopotamia c. 3500 BCE, written on clay tablets. It was based on pictographic and ideographic elements, while later Sumerians developed syllables for writing, reflecting the phonology and syntax of the Sumerian language. In Egypt hieroglyphic writing was developed using pictures as well, appearing on art such as the Narmer Palette (3,100 BCE).

Ancient Near East art

Mesopotamian art was developed in the area between Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in modern day Syria and Iraq, where since the 4th millennium BCE many different cultures existed such as Sumer, Akkad, Amorite and Chaldea. Mesopotamian architecture was characterized by the use of bricks, lintels, and cone mosaic. Notable are the ziggurats, large temples in the form of step pyramids. The tomb was a chamber covered with a false dome, as in some examples found at Ur. There were also palaces walled with a terrace in the form of a ziggurat, where gardens were an important feature. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Relief sculpture was developed in wood and stone. Sculpture depicted religious, military, and hunting scenes, including both human and animal figures. In the Sumerian period, small statues of people were produced. These statues had an angular form and were produced from colored stone. The figures typically had bald head with hands folded on the chest. In the Akkadian period, statues depicted figures with long hair and beards, such as the stele of Naram-Sin. In the Amorite period (or Neosumerian), statues represented kings from Gudea of Lagash, with their mantle and a turban on their heads and their hands on their chests. During Babylonian rule, the stele of Hammurabi was important, as it depicted the great king Hammurabi above a written copy of the laws that he introduced. Assyrian sculpture is notable for its anthropomorphism of cattle and the winged genie, which is depicted flying in many reliefs depicting war and hunting scenes, such as in the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III.[11]

Egypt

In Egypt, one of the first great civilizations arose, which had elaborate and complex works of art which were produced by professional artists and craftspeople, who developed specialized skills. Egypt's art was religious and symbolic. Given that the culture had a highly centralized power structure and hierarchy, a great deal of art was created to honour the pharaoh, including great monuments. Egyptian culture emphasized the religious concept of immortality. Later Egyptian art includes Coptic and Byzantine art.

The architecture is characterized by monumental structures, built with large stone blocks, lintels, and solid columns. Funerary monuments included mastaba, tombs of rectangular form; pyramids, which included step pyramids (Saqqarah) or smooth-sided pyramids (Giza); and the hypogeum, underground tombs (Valley of the Kings). Other great buildings were the temple, which tended to be monumental complexes preceded by an avenue of sphinxes and obelisks. Temples used pylons and trapezoid walls with hypaethros and hypostyle halls and shrines. The temples of Karnak, Luxor, Philae and Edfu are good examples. Another type of temple is the rock temple, in the form of a hypogeum, found in Abu Simbel and Deir el-Bahari.

Painting of the Egyptian era used a juxtaposition of overlapping planes. The images were represented hierarchically, i.e., the Pharaoh is larger than the common subjects or enemies depicted at his side. Egyptians painted the outline of the head and limbs in profile, while the torso, hands, and eyes were painted from the front. Applied arts were developed in Egypt, in particular woodwork and metalwork. There are superb examples such as cedar furniture inlaid with ebony and ivory which can be seen in the tombs at the Egyptian Museum. Other examples include the pieces found in Tutankhamun's tomb, which are of great artistic quality.[12]

Greek and Etruscan

Greek and Etruscan artists built on the artistic foundations of Egypt, further developing the arts of sculpture, painting, architecture, and ceramics. The body became represented in a more representational manner, and patronage of art thrived. Greek art started as smaller and simpler than Egyptian art, and the influence of Egyptian art on the Greeks started in the Cycladic islands between 3300–3200 B.C.E. Cycladic statues were simple, lacking facial features except for the nose.

Greek art eventually included life-sized statues, such as Kouros figures. The standing Kouros of Attica is typical of early Greek sculpture and dates from 600 B.C.E. From this early stage, the art of Greece moved into the Archaic Period. Sculpture from this time period includes the characteristic Archaic smile. This distinctive smile may have conveyed that the subject of the sculpture had been alive or that the subject had been blessed by the gods and was well.

Dacian art

Dacian art is the art associated with the peoples known as Dacians or North Thracians; The Dacians created an art style in which the influences of Scythians and the Greeks can be seen. They were highly skilled in gold and silver working and in pottery making. Pottery was white with red decorations in flolral, geometric, and stylized animal motifs. Similar decorations were worked in metal, especially the figure of a horse, which was common on Dacian coins.[13]

Pre-Roman Iberian art

Hittite art

Hittite art was produced by the Hittite civilization in ancient Anatolia, in modern-day Turkey, and also stretching into Syria during the second millennium BCE from the nineteenth century up until the twelfth century BCE. This period falls under the Anatolian Bronze Age. It is characterized by a long tradition of canonized images and motifs rearranged, while still being recognizable, by artists to convey meaning to a largely illiterate population.

“Owing to the limited vocabulary of figural types [and motifs], invention for the Hittite artist usually was a matter of combining and manipulating the units to form more complex compositions"[18]

Many of these recurring images revolve around the depiction of Hittite deities and ritual practices. There is also a prevalence of hunting scenes in Hittite relief and representational animal forms. Much of the art comes from settlements like Alaca Höyük, or the Hittite capital of Hattusa near modern-day Boğazkale. Scholars do have difficulty dating a large portion of Hittite art, citing the fact that there is a lack of inscription and much of the found material, especially from burial sites, was moved from their original locations and distributed among museums during the nineteenth century.

Bactrian art

The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex is the modern archaeological designation for a Bronze Age civilisation of Central Asia, dated to c. 2300–1700 BC, located in present-day northern Afghanistan, eastern Turkmenistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centred on the upper Amu Darya (Oxus River). Its sites were discovered and named by the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi (1976).

BMAC materials have been found in the Indus Valley Civilisation, on the Iranian Plateau, and in the Persian Gulf.[19] Finds within BMAC sites provide further evidence of trade and cultural contacts. They include an Elamite-type cylinder seal and a Harappan seal stamped with an elephant and Indus script found at Gonur-depe.[20] The relationship between Altyn-Depe and the Indus Valley seems to have been particularly strong. Among the finds there were two Harappan seals and ivory objects. The Harappan settlement of Shortugai in Northern Afghanistan on the banks of the Amu Darya probably served as a trading station.[21]

Celtic art

Celtic art is associated with the peoples known as Celts; those who spoke the Celtic languages in Europe from pre-history through to the modern period, as well as the art of ancient peoples whose language is uncertain, but have cultural and stylistic similarities with speakers of Celtic languages.

Rome

Roman art is sometimes viewed as derived from Greek precedents, but also has its own distinguishing features. Roman sculpture is often less idealized than the Greek precedents. Roman architecture often used concrete, and features such as the round arch and dome were invented.

Roman artwork was influenced by the nation-state's interaction with other people's, such as ancient Judea. A major monument is the Arch of Titus, which was erected by the Emperor Titus. Scenes of Romans looting the Jewish temple in Jerusalem are depicted in low-relief sculptures around the arch's perimeter.

European

Medieval

With the decline of the Roman Empire, the Medieval era began, lasting for a millennium. Early Christian art begins the period, followed by Byzantine art, Anglo-Saxon art, Viking art, Ottonian art, Romanesque art and Gothic art, with Islamic art dominating the eastern Mediterranean.

In Byzantine and Gothic art of the Middle Ages, the dominance of the church resulted in a large amount of religious art. There was extensive use of gold in paintings, which presented figures in simplified forms.

Renaissance and Baroque

The Renaissance is the return to a valuation of the material world, and this paradigm shift is reflected in art forms, which show the corporeality of the human body, and the three-dimensional reality of landscapes. Art historians often periodize Renaissance art by century, especially with Italian art.Italian Renaissance and Baroque art is traditionally referred to by centuries: trecento for the fourteenth century, quattrocento for the fifteenth, cinquecento for the sixteenth, and seicento for the seventeenth.

Neoclassicalism to Realism

The 18th and 19th centuries included Neoclassicism, Romanticism, and Realism in art.

Middle Eastern

Pre-Islamic Arabia

The art of Pre-Islamic Arabia is related to that of neighbouring cultures. Pre-Islamic Yemen produced stylized alabaster heads of great aesthetic and historic charm. Most of the pre-Islamic sculptures are made of alabaster.

Islamic

Some branches of Islam forbid depictions of people and other sentient beings, as they may be misused as idols. Religious ideas are thus often represented through geometric designs and calligraphy. However, there are many Islamic paintings which display religious themes and scenes of stories common among the three Abrahamic monotheistic faiths of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

Siberian-Eskimo art

The art of the Eskimo people from Siberia is in the exactly same style with with the Inuit art from Alaska and north Canada. This is due the fact that the native Americans travels throw Siberia to Alaska, and later to the rest of the Americas.

Including the Russian Far East, the population of Siberia numbers just above 40 million people. As a result of the 17th to 19th century Russian conquest of Siberia and the subsequent population movements during the Soviet era, the demographics of Siberia today is dominated by native speakers of Russian. There remain a considerable number of indigenous groups, between them accounting for below 10% of total Siberian population, which are also genetically related to Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.

Americas

Olmec, jade Kunz Axe, first described by George Kunz in 1890. Although shaped like an axe head, with an edge along the bottom, it was likely used in ritual settings. At a height of 28 cm (11 in), it is one of the largest jade objects ever found in Mesoamerica, American Museum of Natural History

The history of art in the Americas begins in pre-Columbian times with Indigenous cultures. Art historians have focused particularly closely on Mesoamerica during this early era, because a series of stratified cultures arose there that erected grand architecture and produced objects of fine workmanship that are comparable to the arts of Western Europe.

Preclassic

The art-making tradition of Mesoamerican people begins with the Olmec around 1400 BCE, during the Preclassic era. These people are best known for making colossal heads but also carved jade, erected monumental architecture, made small-scale sculpture, and designed mosaic floors. Two of the most well-studied sites artistically are San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán and La Venta. After the Olmec culture declined, the Maya civilization became prominent in the region. Sometimes a transitional Epi-Olmec period is described, which is a hybrid of Olmec and Maya. A particularly well-studied Epi-Olmec site is La Mojarra, which includes hieroglyphic carvings that have been partially deciphered.

Classic

Golden knife for ceremonies, the Valley of the Cauca river, Colombia, 2nd century, in Gold Museum, Bogotá (Colombia)
Zapotec mask of the Bat God

By the late pre-Classic era, beginning around 400 BCE, the Olmec culture had declined but both Central Mexican and Maya peoples were thriving. Throughout much of the Classic period in Central Mexico, the city of Teotihuacan was thriving, as were Xochicalco and El Tajin. These sites boasted grand sculpture and architecture. Other Central Mexican peoples included the Mixtecs, the Zapotecs, and people in the Valley of Oaxaca. Maya art was at its height during the “Classic” period—a name that mirrors that of Classical European antiquity—and which began around 200 CE. Major Maya sites from this era include Copan, where numerous stelae were carved, and Quirigua where the largest stelae of Mesoamerica are located along with zoomorphic altars. A complex writing system was developed, and Maya illuminated manuscripts were produced in large numbers on paper made from tree bark. Many sites ”collapsed” around 1000 AD.

Postclassic

At the time of the Spanish conquest of Yucatán during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Maya were still powerful, but many communities were paying tribute to Aztec society. The latter culture was thriving, and it included arts such as sculpture, painting, and feather mosaics. Perhaps the most well-known work of Aztec art is the calendar stone, which became a national symbol of the state of Mexico. During the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, many of these artistic objects were sent to Europe, where they were placed in cabinets of curiosities, and later redistributed to Western art museums. The Aztec empire was based in the city of Tenochtitlan which was largely destroyed during the colonial era. What remains of it was buried beneath Mexico City. A few buildings, such as the foundation of the Templo Mayor have since been unearthed by archaeologists, but they are in poor condition.

Art in the Americas

Art in the Americas since the conquest is characterized by a mixture of indigenous and foreign traditions, including those of European, African, and Asian settlers. Numerous indigenous traditions thrived after the conquest. For example, the Plains Indians created quillwork, beadwork, winter counts, ledger art, and tipis in the pre-reservation era, and afterwards became assimilated into the world of Modern and Contemporary art through institutions such as the Santa Fe Indian School which encouraged students to develop a unique Native American style. Many paintings from that school, now called the Studio Style, were exhibited at the Philbrook Museum of Art during its Indian annual held from 1946 to 1979.

Central Mexico, Golf Coast and Oaxaca

Mayan lands

Colombia

Andean regions

Rest of South America

United States, Canada & Greenland

Asia

Eastern civilization broadly includes Asia, and it also includes a complex tradition of art making. One approach to Eastern art history divides the field by nation, with foci on India, China, and Japan. Due to the size of the continent, the distinction between Eastern Asia and Southern Asia in the context of arts can be clearly seen. In most of Asia, pottery was a prevalent form of art. The pottery is often decorated with geometric patterns or abstract representations of animals, people or plants. Another very widespread form of art was, and is, sculpture.

Indian art

The Indus Valley Civilisation made anthropomorphic figures. Most famous are the Dancing Girl and the Priest-King. This civilisation made also many clay pots, most of them decorated with geometric patterns. They made seals decorated with animals, anthropomorphic figures and their script. The Indus script (also known as the Harappan script) is a corpus of symbols produced by the Indus Valley Civilization during the Kot Diji and Mature Harappan periods between 3500 and 1900 BCE. Most inscriptions containing these symbols are extremely short, making it difficult to judge whether or not these symbols constituted a script used to record a language, or even symbolise a writing system.[25] In spite of many attempts,[26] the "script" has not yet been deciphered, but efforts are ongoing. There is no known bilingual inscription to help decipher the script, nor does the script show any significant changes over time. However, some of the syntax (if that is what it may be termed) varies depending upon location.[25]

Early Buddhists in India developed symbols related to Buddha. Bhutanese painted "thangkas" that shows Buddhist iconography. The major survivals of Buddhist art begin in the period after the Mauryans, from which good quantities of sculpture survives from some key sites such as Sanchi, Bharhut and Amaravati, some of which remain in situ, with others in museums in India or around the world. Stupas were surrounded by ceremonial fences with four profusely carved toranas or ornamental gateways facing the cardinal directions. These are in stone, though clearly adopting forms developed in wood. They and the walls of the stupa itself can be heavily decorated with reliefs, mostly illustrating the lives of the Buddha. Gradually life-size figures were sculpted, initially in deep relief, but then free-standing.[27] Mathura was the most important centre in this development, which applied to Hindu and Jain art as well as Buddhist.[28] The facades and interiors of rock-cut chaitya prayer halls and monastic viharas have survived better than similar free-standing structures elsewhere, which were for long mostly in wood. The caves at Ajanta, Karle, Bhaja and elsewhere contain early sculpture, often outnumbered by later works such as iconic figures of the Buddha and bodhisattvas, which are not found before 100 CE at the least.

Tibetan art

For more than a thousand years, Tibetan artists have played a key role in the cultural life of Tibet. From designs for painted furniture to elaborate murals in religious buildings, their efforts have permeated virtually every facet of life on the Tibetan plateau. The vast majority of surviving artworks created before the mid-20th century are dedicated to the depiction of religious subjects, with the main forms being thangka, distemper paintings on cloth, Tibetan Buddhist wall paintings, and small statues in bronze, or large ones in clay, stucco or wood. They were commissioned by religious establishments or by pious individuals for use within the practice of Tibetan Buddhism and were manufactured in large workshops by monks and lay artists, who are mostly unknown.

The art of Tibet may be studied in terms of influences which have contributed to it over the centuries, from other Chinese, Nepalese, Indian, and sacred styles.

Many bronzes in Tibet that suggest Pala influence, are thought to have been either crafted by Indian sculptors or brought from India.[29]

Chinese art

The Sakyamuni Buddha, by Zhang Shengwen, c. 1173–1176 CE (during the Song dynasty period)

In Eastern Asia, painting was derived from the practice of calligraphy, and portraits and landscapes were painted on silk cloth. Most of the paintings represent landscapes or portraits. The most spectacular sculptures are the ritual bronzes and the bronze sculptures from Sanxingdui. A very well-known example of Chinese art is the Terracotta Army, depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.

Japanese art

Japanese art covers a wide range of art styles and media, including ancient pottery, sculpture, ink painting and calligraphy on silk and paper, ukiyo-e paintings and woodblock prints, ceramics, origami, and more recently manga—modern Japanese cartooning and comics—along with a myriad of other types. It has a long history, ranging from the beginnings of human habitation in Japan, sometime in the 10th millennium BC, to the present.

The first settlers of Japan, the Jōmon people (c. 11000 – c. 300 BC). They crafted lavishly decorated pottery storage vessels, clay figurines called dogū. Japan has been subject to sudden invasions of new ideas followed by long periods of minimal contact with the outside world. Over time the Japanese developed the ability to absorb, imitate, and finally assimilate those elements of foreign culture that complemented their aesthetic preferences. The earliest complex art in Japan was produced in the 7th and 8th centuries in connection with Buddhism. In the 9th century, as the Japanese began to turn away from China and develop indigenous forms of expression, the secular arts became increasingly important; until the late 15th century, both religious and secular arts flourished. After the Ōnin War (1467–1477), Japan entered a period of political, social, and economic disruption that lasted for over a century. In the state that emerged under the leadership of the Tokugawa shogunate, organized religion played a much less important role in people's lives, and the arts that survived were primarily secular.

Korean art

Korean arts include traditions in calligraphy, music, painting and pottery, often marked by the use of natural forms, surface decoration and bold colors or sounds.

The earliest examples of Korean art consist of stone age works dating from 3000 BC. These mainly consist of votive sculptures and more recently, petroglyphs, which were rediscovered.

This early period was followed by the art styles of various Korean kingdoms and dynasties. Korean artists sometimes modified Chinese traditions with a native preference for simple elegance, spontaneity, and an appreciation for purity of nature.

The Goryeo Dynasty (918–1392) was one of the most prolific periods for a wide range of disciplines, especially pottery.

The Korean art market is concentrated in the Insadong district of Seoul where over 50 small galleries exhibit and occasional fine arts auctions. Galleries are cooperatively run, small and often with curated and finely designed exhibits. In every town there are smaller regional galleries, with local artists showing in traditional and contemporary media. Art galleries usually have a mix of media. Attempts at bringing Western conceptual art into the foreground have usually had their best success outside of Korea in New York, San Francisco, London and Paris.

Vietnamese art

Vietnamese art has a long and rich history, the earliest examples of which date back as far as the Stone Age around 8,000 BCE[citation needed].

With the millennium of Chinese domination starting in the 2nd century BC, Vietnamese art undoubtedly absorbed many Chinese influences, which would continue even following independence from China in the 10th century AD. However, Vietnamese art has always retained many distinctively Vietnamese characteristics.

By the 19th century, the influence of French art took hold in Vietnam, having a large hand in the birth of modern Vietnamese art.

Thai art

Traditional Thai art is primarily composed of Buddhist art and scenes from the Indian epics. Traditional Thai sculpture almost exclusively depicts images of the Buddha. Traditional Thai paintings usually consist of book illustrations, and painted ornamentation of buildings such as palaces and temples.

Africa

The long story of African Art includes both sculpture, typified by the brass castings of the Benin people, as well as folk art. Concurrent with the European Middle Ages, in the eleventh century CE a nation that made grand architecture, gold sculpture, and intricate jewelry was founded in Great Zimbabwe. Impressive sculpture was concurrently being cast from brass by the Yoruba people of what is now Nigeria. Such a culture grew and was ultimately transformed to become the Benin Kingdom, where elegant altar tusks, brass heads, plaques of brass, and palatial architecture was created. The Benin Kingdom was ended by the British in 1897, and little of the culture's art now remains in Nigeria. Today, the most significant arts venue in Africa is the Johannesburg Biennale.

Oceania

The Art of Oceania includes the geographic areas of Micronesia, Polynesia, Australia, New Zealand, and Melanesia. One approach treats the area thematically, with foci on ancestry, warfare, the body, gender, trade, religion, and tourism. Unfortunately, little ancient art survives from Oceania. Scholars believe that this is likely because artists used perishable materials, such as wood and feathers, which did not survive in the tropical climate, and there are no historical records to refer to most of this material. The understanding of Oceania's artistic cultures thus begins with the documentation of it by Westerners, such as Captain James Cook in the eighteenth century. At the turn of the twentieth century the French artist Paul Gauguin spent significant amounts of time in Tahiti, living with local people and making modern art—a fact that has become intertwined with Tahitian visual culture to the present day. The indigenous art of Australia often looks like abstract modern art, but it has deep roots in local culture.

Modern and contemporary

Henri Matisse, 1905–06, Le bonheur de vivre, oil on canvas, 175 x 241 cm, Barnes Foundation

Origins

Art historians disagree when Modern art began, some tracing it as far back as Francisco Goya in the Napoleonic period, the mid-19th century with the industrial revolution or the late 19th century with the advent of Impressionism. The French Revolution of 1789 gave rise to further revolutions in thought. In the arts, these included a new self-consciousness about artistic styles and individuality.[32] Art historian H. Harvard Arnason says "a gradual metamorphosis took place in the course of a hundred years", marked by significant events such as the completion in 1784 of Jacques-Louis David's painting The Oath of the Horatii; the exhibition of Gustave Courbet's painting The Artist's Studio in 1855; and the exhibition of Édouard Manet's painting Le déjeuner sur l'herbe in the Salon des Refusés in Paris in 1863.[33]

19th century

During the 19th century, the Romantic tendency of early modern artists such as Turner and Delacroix was succeeded by newer art movements: Realism, Impressionism, post-Impressionism, Symbolism, and other movements. Western artists were influenced by Eastern decorative arts, especially Japanese prints.

The Impressionists sought to convey movement, spontaneity, and transient effects of light in their work. Their style was adopted by artists in many countries, alongside national movements such as the Hudson River School and the Ashcan School in the US.

Early 20th century

Pablo Picasso, 1907, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, oil on canvas, 244 x 234 cm, Museum of Modern Art, New York

The history of 20th-century art is a narrative of endless possibilities and the search for new standards, each being torn down in succession by the next. The art movements of Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, abstract art, Dadaism and Surrealism led to further explorations of new creative styles and manners of expression. Increasing global interaction during this time saw an equivalent influence of other cultures into Western art, such as Pablo Picasso being influenced by Iberian sculpture, African sculpture and Primitivism. Japonism, and Japanese woodcuts (which had themselves been influenced by Western Renaissance draftsmanship) had an immense influence on Impressionism and subsequent artistic developments. The influential example set by Paul Gauguin's interest in Oceanic art and the sudden popularity among the cognoscenti in early 20th century Paris of newly discovered African fetish sculptures and other works from non-European cultures were taken up by Picasso, Henri Matisse, and many of their colleagues. Later in the 20th century, Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism came to prominence.

Late 20th and early 21st centuries

Rapid advances in science and technology led to the late Modern and Postmodern period. In these periods, the art and cultures of the world went through many changes, and there was a great deal of intermixture between cultures, as new communications technologies facilitated the national and even global dissemination of music, art and style. The separation of regional cultures that had marked the 19th century was replaced by a global culture. Postmodernism describes a broad movement that developed in the mid- to late-20th century across philosophy, the arts, architecture, and criticism which marked a departure from modernism.[34][35][36]

See also

References

  1. ^ Gardner, p.2
  2. ^ "Shell 'art' made 300,000 years before humans evolved – New Scientist". New Scientist. 
  3. ^ Gardner, pp.3–4
  4. ^ McCoid, Catherine Hodge; McDermott, Leroy D. (1996). "Toward Decolonizing Gender: Female Vision in the Upper Paleolithic". American Anthropologist. 98 (2): 319–326. doi:10.1525/aa.1996.98.2.02a00080. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  5. ^ Honour, H.; Fleming, J. (2005). A World History of Art. Laurence King. ISBN 9781856694513. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  6. ^ Honour-Fleming (2002), p. 36-44.
  7. ^ Onians (2008), p. 20-25.
  8. ^ Gardner, p.12
  9. ^ Azcárate (1983), p. 24-28.
  10. ^ Onians (2008), p. 30-31.
  11. ^ Azcárate (1983), p. 36-44.
  12. ^ Azcárate (1983), p. 29-34.
  13. ^ Waldman & Mason 2006, p. 208.
  14. ^ Pârvan & Vulpe 1928, p. 57.
  15. ^ Burda 1979, p. 17.
  16. ^ Popescu 1956, p. 221.
  17. ^ Coles & Harding 1979, p. 366.
  18. ^ Alexander, Robert L. (1986). The Sculpture and Sculptors of Yazılıkaya. Newark: University of Delaware Press. p. 122. 
  19. ^ Cite error: The named reference LambergKarlovskyArchaeology was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  20. ^ Kohl 2007, pp. 196–199.
  21. ^ Cite error: The named reference MassonThe was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  22. ^ "Carved stone ball" Archived 2013-07-02 at the Wayback Machine.. National Museums of Scotland. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
  23. ^ Broug, Eric (2008). Islamic Geometric Patterns. Thames and Hudson. pp. 183–185, 193. ISBN 978-0-500-28721-7. 
  24. ^ Locher, J. L. (1971). The World of M. C. Escher. Abrams. p. 17. ISBN 0-451-79961-5. 
  25. ^ a b Locklear, Mallory (January 25, 2017). "Science: Machine learning could finally crack the 4,000-year-old Indus script". The Verge. Manhattan, New York, NY: Vox Media. Retrieved January 25, 2017. After a century of failing to crack an ancient script, linguists turn to machines. 
  26. ^ (Possehl, 1996)
  27. ^ Harle, 105–117, 26–47
  28. ^ Harle, 59–70
  29. ^ Pala India, Maitreya – standing, OCTOBER 16, 2016
  30. ^ "The National Museum of China". China Culture. Archived from the original on 2014-05-27. 
  31. ^ The Indianapolis Museum of Art (2012), Ritual wine server (guang), retrieved 21 May 2012 
  32. ^ Ozenfant, A. (1952). Foundations of Modern Art. New York: Dover Publications. pp. 2–5. OCLC 536109.
  33. ^ Arnason, H. Harvard (1998). History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Photography. Fourth Edition. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. p. 17. ISBN 0-8109-3439-6.
  34. ^ "postmodernism: definition of postmodernism in Oxford dictionary (American English) (US)". oxforddictionaries.com. 
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  36. ^ Mura, Andrea (2012). "The Symbolic Function of Transmodernity" (PDF). Language and Psychoanalysis. 1 (1): 68–87. doi:10.7565/landp.2012.0005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2015. 

Further reading

  • Adams, Laurie. Art across Time. 3rd ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2007.
  • Bell, Julian. Mirror of the World: A New History Of Art. 2nd ed., London, Thames & Hudson, 2010. ISBN 978-0500287545
  • Gardner, Helen, and Fred S. Kleiner. Gardner's Art through the Ages: A Global History. 13th ed. Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2009.
  • Gombrich, E. H. The Story of Art. 15th ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1990.
  • Honour, Hugh, and John Fleming. The Visual Arts: A History. 5th ed. New York: Henry N. Abrams, 1999.
  • Honour, Hugh, and John Fleming. A World History of Art. 7th ed. Laurence King Publishing, 2005, ISBN 1-85669-451-8, ISBN 978-1-85669-451-3
  • Janson, H. W., and Penelope J. E. Davies. Janson's History of Art: The Western Tradition. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007.
  • Oliver Grau (Ed.): MediaArtHistories, Cambridge/Mass.: MIT-Press, 2007.
  • La Plante, John D. Asian Art. 3rd ed. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown, 1992.
  • Phaidon Editors. 30,000 Years of Art: The Story of Human Creativity Across Time & Space, 2nd ed. London: Phaidon Press, 2015
  • Miller, Mary Ellen. The Art of Mesoamerica: From Olmec to Aztec. 4th ed, World of Art. London: Thames & Hudson, 2006.
  • Onians, John. Atlas of World Art. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2004. ISBN 9781856693776
  • Pierce, James Smith, and H. W. Janson. From Abacus to Zeus: A Handbook of Art History. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice

Hall, 2004.

  • Pohl, Frances K. Framing America: A Social History of American Art. New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, 2002.
  • Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2008.
  • Thomas, Nicholas. Oceanic Art, World of Art. New York, N.Y.: Thames and Hudson, 1995.
  • Thuillier, Jacques, Histoire de l'art, Paris, Flammarion, 2002. ISBN 2-08-012535-4
  • Thuillier, Jacques, History of Art, Paris, Flammarion, 2002. ISBN 2-08-010875-1
  • Wilkins, David G., Bernard Schultz, and Katheryn M. Linduff. Art Past, Art Present. 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2008.

External links

  • "Art: The history of ideas in literature and the arts in aesthetic theory and literary criticism" – The Dictionary of the History of Ideas
  • Art History resources
  • Ars Summum Project

Timelines

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