Art Articles: Painting, Drawing, History of Art

History of art is not only an academic journey narrating the paintings we have on the walls of our museums and the homes of the art lovers. Instead it is a study in knowing about the manner in which the artists of the past had tried to connect their feelings with the hearts of viewers. Here are some articles in which the different slots of time are taken as basis and the paintings done in that period are discussed. With the change of techniques of painting and the tastes of the people, the art of painting is always affected. This has resulted in specific movements of art, a specific type of painting done by the artists. But these are not water-tight compartments, as the time slots and styles of painting are overlapping. Let the following articles tell the whole story.

Artists are doing their best from the days when the paintings were done on walls with wet plasters, which were called fresco paintings. But the period of Renaissance was the era of scientific realism. New inventions in the field of architect and industrial sectors were bubbling in the air. The art of painting could not remain untouched by blowing air of this growing scientific knowledge. On close observation of renaissance paintings we can see how precisely the theory of showing scientific realism, too, is depicted through masterly skills.

Classicism, Artists of Balance and Unity

It is believed that the history is the collection of chaotic moments of past life of human race; whereas the history of art collects the most beautiful moments the human race has seen till the day. We can have the proof of that concept when we look at the paintings done under the style of classicism.

In the field of art the word ‘Romanticism’ has a specific meaning. It conveys the concept showing of sentimentality on one hand; and on another it refers to the lack of idealism or reality that confines the artistic passion. For an artists falling under category of romanticism, the expression was the paramount element. They wanted freedom of expression, and they did it ignoring the social norms and the rules set by convention.

Genre painters choose the ordinary life of common men as subject. This style of paintings is also called genre scenes or genre views. These paintings are pictorial representations in any of various media that represent scenes or events from everyday life, such as markets, domestic settings, interiors, parties, inn scenes, and street scenes.

Impressionism: Painting Feelings and Play of Light

The impressionist artists are known by their adherence to two main principles. Under impressionism style of painting, an artist searches for the general impression of a scene. It may be celebration of a season or play of sunlight falling on the land. Secondly, the impressionist paintings would be finished in one session.

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Painters

Descriptive detail is one of the most proper means to convey truth and realism: this is what John Ruskin, a great British writer and art critic of nineteenth century, believed. The artists group known as Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood took a leaf from Ruskin’s book and succeeded in recreating the concept on their colourful canvases.

During the fist quarter of nineteenth century France was undergoing hectic changes in every sector. The successful revolution had initiated social demand for the reforms on one hand, and on another the democracy had injected newer and fresher desires in the veins of the people. The field of art could not remain untouched by this re formative blow of the air, as people wanted from the artists, too, to deliver something touching the common people and their expectations. Realism was the natural outcome.

Hudson River Valley Painters

Once a battle ground for the colonial war and the cradle of European civilization on American soil, Hudson River Valley had become like a pilgrimage for the artists in nineteenth century. These artist received inspiration from the nature and painted some of their best landscape paintings from 1825 to 1880. [Image courtesy Michelangelo Buonarroti [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]


The art of painting had taken a decisive turn in the second half of nineteenth century and twentieth century. Along with emergence of photography, the invention of modern techniques and new shades of colours were the aspects which helped the art of painting to scale newer and higher peaks. The artists get help and challenges, too, from this changed environment. Other major change was the formation of middle class among the population which was very much attracted towards the art. Development in the field of psychology, led by the researches done by Sigmund Freud and Jung were the liberating factors helping artists to be more adventurous, especially in the field of figurative painting.

Here are articles about the movements leading the field of art during late 19th and twentieth century.

Cubism : When we look at an art work and our eyes find that the natural continuity and organic unity of the object painted is not maintained, and the whole canvass looks like an open field covered with broken glasses scattered all over the ground, we can say that it must be a painting done by a cubist artist. Under the style of cubism, an artist would look at the objects with his/her mind’s eyes. The whole perspective of these cubist painters is radically different from the traditional artists painting since the renaissance period.

Impressionism : The impressionist artists would try capturing the natural colours for uploading them on canvases. Major attracting aspect of impressionist art is the use of unmixed colours. They would use the primary colours, applying them with small brush-strokes. These strokes carry the feel of scene and energy of the environment. The movement of impressionism has changed the definition of the art of painting itself.

Fauvism : Fauvism is a name of the strong expressive response of the artists. When these artists paint, they do it like the impressionists; but their reactions towards the subjects they painted look stronger. The style, initiated in first decade of twentieth century, is named as ‘Fauvism’. Fauve is a wild beast.

SURREALISM : Surrealist artists experimented in unexpected and unusual juxtaposition. Free form the convention, the artist like Joan Miro and Salvador Dali used the power of their imagination to lead the viewers to a new world of artistic experience. They would let their imagination to play. This movement has affected literature and visual art in their different aspects. The spheres of film and music also were not untouched by the fever of surrealistic approach.

Pointillism : The simple definition of pointillism can be given like this: it is a technique in which a painting is done by putting dots of the colours. The colours are generally put in their pure hues and shades. It is depiction of play of light by putting tiny dots of colours side by side. Arranging these colours in their contrasting shades, the whole painting is made looking to look sparkling with brilliance.

Abstract Painting : Abstract artist might not miss the pictorial element in a painting, but he or she depicts the aspect independent of reference you would find in surrounding. Though they would depart completely or partially from the real imagery of actual objects, the freedom the abstract artists experience make them more courageous. In America the Abstract Artists group was established in 1936; till then the abstract art was viewed with critical opposition. [Image courtesy By John Singer Sargent († 1925) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

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