Western Art History

Western Art History

Western art is the art of the North American, South American, Oceanian and European countries, and art created in the forms accepted by those countries.

Written histories of Western art often begin with the art of the Ancient Middle East, Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Aegean civilisations, dating from the 3rd millennium BC. Parallel with these significant cultures, art of one form or another existed all over Europe, wherever there were people, leaving signs such as carvings, decorated artifacts and huge standing stones. However a consistent pattern of artistic development within Europe becomes clear only with the art of Ancient Greece, adopted and transformed by Rome and carried; with the Empire, across much of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The influence of the art of the Classical period waxed and waned throughout the next two thousand years, seeming to slip into a distant memory in parts of the Medieval period, to re-emerge in the Renaissance, suffer a period of what some early art historians viewed as "decay" during the Baroque period, to reappear in a refined form in Neo-Classicism and to be reborn in Post-Modernism.

The other major influence upon Western art has been Christianity, the commissions of the Church, architectural, painterly and sculptural, providing the major source of work for artists for about 1400 years, from 300 AD to about 1700 AD. The history of the Church was very much reflected in the history of art, during this period.

Secularism has influenced Western art since the Classical period, while most art of the last 200 years has been produced without reference to religion and often with no particular ideology at all. On the other hand, Western art has often been influenced by politics of one kind or another, of the state, of the patron and of the artist.

Western art is arranged into a number of stylistic periods, which, historically, overlap each other as different styles flourished in different areas. Broadly the periods are, Classical, Byzantine, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Modern and Postmodern. Each of these is further subdivided.

Art history
series
Prehistoric art
Ancient art history
Western art history
Eastern art history
Islamic art history
Western painting
History of painting
Art history (study)
History of art
Western art history
series
Medieval art
The Renaissance
Mannerism
Baroque
Neoclassicism
Romanticism
Realism
Modern art
Contemporary art

Read more about Western Art History:  Ancient Classical Art, Medieval, Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque and Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Academism and Realism, Modern Art, Contemporary Art and Postmodern Art

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Western Art History - Contemporary Art and Postmodern Art
... Modern art foreshadowed several characteristics of what would later be definied as postmodern art as a matter of fact, several modern art movements can often be classified as both modern and ... Postmodern art, for instance, places a strong emphasis on irony, parody and humour in general modern art started to develop a more ironic approach to art which ... Postmodern art sees the blurring between the high and fine arts with low-end and commercial art modern art started to experiment with this blurring ...
Post-Breton Surrealism
... Some art historians suggest that World War II effectively disbanded the movement ... However, art historian Sarane Alexandrian (1970) states, "the death of André Breton in 1966 marked the end of Surrealism as an organized movement." There have also been ... The former curator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Michael Bell, has called this style "veristic Surrealism", which depicts with meticulous clarity and great detail a world analogous to the dream ...
Art, Class, and Value
... Art is sometimes perceived as belonging exclusively to higher social classes ... In this context, art is seen as an upper-class activity associated with wealth, the ability to purchase art, and the leisure required to pursue or enjoy it ... Petersburg illustrate this view such vast collections of art are the preserve of the rich, of governments and wealthy organizations ...

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