renaissance baroque realism impressionism post-impressionism
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7th Grade Art History Handout Owensville
Renaissance The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the 1400’s.
Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature,
philosophy, art, music, politics, science, religion, and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Important artists
during the renaissance included Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Raphael Sanzio and Jan van Eyck.
Baroque Baroque is a period of artistic style that emphasized movement, contrast, and variety which produced drama,
tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance, and music. The
style began around 1600 in Rome, Italy and spread to most of Europe. Important artists during this period
include Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and Rubens.
Realism The Realist movement in art flourished from about 1840 until the late 1800’s, and sought to convey a truthful
and objective vision of contemporary life. Realism was based on direct observation of the modern world.
Often, Realists painted in gritty detail the present-day existence of humble people. Important artists of this
period include Thomas Eakins, George Caleb Bingham, and Jean François Millet.
Impressionism Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists. Their
independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870’s and 1880’s, in spite of harsh opposition
from the conventional art community. Impressionist painting characteristics include relatively small, thin, yet
visible brush strokes, open composition, and emphasis on accurate depiction of light and its changing qualities
on ordinary subject matter. Impression artists included Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Pierre Auguste Renoir.
Post-Impressionism Post-Impressionists rejected the limitations of Impressionism. They continued using vivid colors, often thick
application of paint, and real-life subject matter, but they were more inclined to emphasize geometric forms, to
distort form for expressive effect, and to use unnatural or arbitrary color. Important artists of the Post-
Impressionist movement include Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, and Georges Seurat.
Note: In 2011, Cézanne’s, “The Card Players”, was sold for $259,000,000.00. (it was reportedly purchased by the
Royal Family of Qatar).
Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century art movement that revolutionized European painting and sculpture and inspired
related movements in music, literature, and architecture. Cubism has been considered the most influential art
movement of the 20th century. In Cubist artwork, objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an
abstracted form. Instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude
of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context. Important artists of the Cubist movement include,
Fernand Léger, and co-founders of the movement, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.
Surrealism Begun in the 1920’s, Surrealism was an art movement that probed the subconscious world of dreams,
sometimes referred to as the art of self-discovery. Many thought that Surrealism was a means of reuniting
conscious and unconscious realms of experience so completely, that the world of dream and fantasy would be
joined to the everyday rational world. This movement continues to inspire creative works all around the world.
Common themes in surrealism include:
1. Out of place objects 2. Unreal scenes 3. Normal objects acting abnormally 4. Fantastic Creatures
Surrealist artists include Max Ernst, René Magritte, and Salvador Dali.
Regionalism Regionalism is an art movement that began in the 1930’s in The United States of America. The artistic focus was
by artists who shunned city life, and rapidly developing technological advances, to create scenes of rural life.
Regionalist art works were meant to give people hope as the country tried to dig out of the Great Depression.
Many Americans identified with the farmers, construction workers, and housewives in these artworks.
Regionalist art was widely appreciated for its reassuring images of the American heartland. Grant Wood,
Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry were the leaders of this movement.
Abstract Expressionism Abstract Expressionism is a post-World War II art movement in American painting, developed in New York in the
1940s. It was the first specifically American movement to achieve international influence and put New York City
at the center of the art world, a role formerly filled by Paris. The term Abstract Expressionism is applied to work
(mostly) in New York, which is neither especially abstract nor expressionist. Influential artists of this movement
include Jackson Pollock, as well as Franz Kline, and Hans Hofmann.
Note: In 2006, Jackson Pollock’s, “No. 5”, 1948” sold by David Geffen to a private buyer for $140,000,000.00.
Pop Art is an art movement that emerged in the mid-1950’s in Britain and in the late 1950’s in the United States. Pop art presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular culture such as advertising, comic book images and mundane cultural objects. In pop art, material is sometimes visually removed from its known context, isolated, and/or combined with unrelated material. The concept of pop art refers not as much to the art itself as to the attitudes that led to it. It is widely interpreted as a reaction to the then-dominant ideas of abstract expressionism. Key artists of the Pop Art movement include Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol.
Op Art or Optical art is a method of painting or printmaking concerning the interaction between illusion and picture plane, between understanding and seeing. Op art works are abstract, with many of the better known pieces made in black and white. When the viewer looks at them, the impression is given of movement, hidden images, flashing and vibration, patterns, or alternatively, of swelling or warping. Famous Op artists include Bridget Riley, Victor Vasarely, and Richard Anuszkiewicz.
Hard-edge painting is a style of painting in which abrupt transitions are found between color areas. Color areas are often of one unvarying color. This approach to abstract painting became widespread in the 1960s, though California was its creative center. This type of painting features economy of form, fullness of color, neatness of surface, and the non-relational arrangement of forms on the canvas. Famous Painters of this movement include Ellsworth Kelly, Kenneth Nolan, and Frank Stella.
Photo-Realism Photorealism is a movement in which an artist studies a photograph and then attempts to reproduce the image as realistically as possible. Photorealism evolved from Pop Art and as a counter to Abstract Expressionism as well as Minimalism in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s in the United States. Famous Photo-realists include Chuck Close, Richard Estes, Ralph Goings, and the sculptor Duane Hanson.
Installation Art describes an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Installation art can be either temporary or permanent. Installation artworks have been constructed in exhibition spaces such as museums and galleries, as well as public and private spaces. Installation art came to prominence in the 1970’s.
7th Grade Art History Handout Owensville Community School
Artists and Titles
Rembrandt: The Night Watch
Millet: The Gleaners
Monet: Water Lilies 1916
Van Gogh: The Starry Night
Picasso: Three Musicians
Dali: Persistence of Memory
Wood: American Gothic
9. Abstract Expressionism
Pollock: Autumn Rhythm
10. Pop Art
Warhol: Campbell’s Soup Can
11. Op Art
Riley: Movement in Squares
12. Hard-edge Painting
Kelly: Red Green Blue 1963
14. Installation Art
Skoglund: Radioactive Cats