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Evolution of Landscape painting: Impressionism to Contemporary.
The word “landscape” comes from the Dutch word "Landschap", which means the patch of the ground describing any painting drawing or any other technique used or whose main subject is to draw the scenery containing mountains, forests, rivers, or seascape. Landscape painting in layman language is the depiction of Natural Scenery.
Timeline of the landscape painting
The tradition of landscape painting can be traced back to traditional Chinese painting during the 6th century, identified as Shan Shui, and is still popular to this day. In the Western tradition landscape painting as a genre developed from the Renaissance movement. Giovanni Bellini’s expressive landscapes are as much the main character of s paintings as are the religious subjects that influenced 15th-century Italian art. Created for sophisticated patrons, Bellini’s works present characters and symbols from familiar sacred stories. With the work of Giorgione, who was one of Bellini's students, the Venetian High Renaissance truly began. Although he died very young, Giorgione's influence was extensive and impactful. He introduced new subjects such as mythological scenes and pastorals with elusive meaning. To a revolutionary stretch, the mood is the primary "subject" of his works. He used light and shadow and a soft atmosphere to merge landscape and figures. For Giorgione, more than any artist before him, the landscape became an end in itself.
The Feast of the Gods by Giovanni Bellini 1514 - 1516, High Renaissance, oil, canvas National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, US
The upliftment of landscape painting began following the Renaissance era, in the 16th century, with artists drawing landscapes that included pictures purely as a setting for human activity. The genre reached new heights at this point due to the Dutch and Flemish schools' artistic innovation with artists like Pieter Bruegel, Joachim Patenir, Albrecht Durer.
Artists like Pieter Bruegel, who was one of the most famous painters of the Flemish school, was known for his detailed landscapes depicting peasant life. His artworks have inspired many, including the renowned painter Peter Rubens and many Flemish painters in the following century. One of his famous works, Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (1558) depicts a religious or mythological story. Bruegel depicts the boisterous activities of a country fair and a folk play, respectively, paying particularly close attention to the worn costumes and broad, emphatic gestures of the celebrants . He had attentive attentive observation of the village sittings, far from re-creating everyday life. The powerful compositions, brilliantly organized and controlled, reflect a sophisticated artistic design. His use of landscape defies simple interpretation. The painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus is a true masterpiece, urrounded by mystery, and numerous questions which remain unresolved, particularly regarding its attribution. The painting, therefore, continues to exert a lasting fascination.
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (1558)
The term “classical” appeared in the seventeenth century. Classicism is the term used to define the arts and culture of the ancient civilizations of Greece and the Roman Empire. A source of inspiration that has been popular since the Renaissance era until the 19th and 20th centuries.
Nicolas Poussin is one of the most well-known classically-inspired artists. He is considered an important representative of the French Baroque. In his famous painting, Landscape with a Calm, he tried to capture in his composition every single detail to impact the viewers. Poussin’s landscape is usually created with a graceful background for a group of figures but later landscapes played an important role in developing a unique style, as it focuses on figures, creating stories that were taken from the bible, mythology, and literature.
Nicolas Poussin, Landscape with a Calm, 1650–1651, Getty Center (Wikipedia)
Claude Lorrain is a french artist who is known for one of the greatest ideal landscape paintings. His inspiration is the countryside around Rome. Working outdoors from detailed observation, and blending classical Idealism with naturalistic detail he produced work that could rival the beauty of nature itself.
The Mill, Claude Lorrain, Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, MA, US, Public domain
Throughout Europe, Poussin and Claude Lorrain established landscape as an honourable genre but it never matched its importance. Due to slow recognition, it was not considered a match for other genres, such as history painting or portraiture.
In 18th century Europe, the Rococo style became widespread in painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and interior design. It was influenced by the Venetian School's use of color, Arcadian landscapes, erotic subjects, and intense use of dramatic scenes which enhanced more playfulness in their works. Jean-Antoine Watteau was the innovative artist who extended the Rococo period beyond decorative arts onto the canvas. Watteau's unique and creative compositions’ style was based on the combination of asymmetrical design and brightly colored landscapes which were painted idyllic and with happy scenes. Most of his art focuses on the cheerfulness of people dancing around and enjoying themselves in a beautiful setting. All this imagery gave birth to a new genre called fêtes galantes, which were scenes of courtship parties.
The Embarkation for Cythera, 1717, Louvre.
Romanticism was the defining style in art and literature of the late 18th and 19th centuries. A movement that draws attention to imagination and emotions. Romanticism is a rejection of the rule of balance, idealization, calm, harmony, and rationality that characterized Classicism in general and particularly Neoclassicism in the late 18th-century. One of the main artists of the Romantic movement was the painter Caspar David Friedrich who changed the face of landscape paintings with his intense and emotional focus on nature and became a key member of the Romantic Movement.
Two Men Contemplating the Moon c.1819 by Caspar David Friedrich
Friedrich elaborated his style and developed his techniques while painting Two Men Contemplating the Moon. The symbolism is one of the strongest points of his painting, which Friedrich implemented with interesting lighting effects and color use.
In the 19th century, a rebel art movement brought a major change in Western art. The Impressionist movement marked the beginning of the modern era in art. The best way for the artists to get recognition was to exhibit their work at the annual Salon des Beaux-Arts or "Salon de Paris", which was organized by the Fine Arts Academy. Being showcased during this event could make or break a career. The artists were eager to get the public’s appreciation and to gain favorable reviews.
Being at first rejected by the establishment, a small group of Impressionist artists held an exhibition with their latest works. Approaching painting in a similar way, the group came together with open compositions depicting the study of light with its changing qualities. Their innovation was the departure from studio practice, replaced by painting outdoors. The freshness and the immediacy in Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, and Paul Cezanne’s work astounded the public. The art critic Louis Leroy coined the name Impressionism referring to Monet's painting Impression: Sunrise. He gave rise to the sarcastic comment: "an exhibition of impressionists".
Claude Moner, Impression, Sunrise, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris (Wikipedia)
In today's time, Impressionist paintings are remarkably the most popular and loved by the public from a modern art museum collection. The modern lifestyle and the way people spent time in Parisian cafés, bars, and theatres were the popular subjects for Monet, Renoir, and Degas in late 19th-century Paris.
Soon after the group’s exhibition, the public accepted the term "Impressionism". The Impressionists were interested in representing the form as the naked eye sees it and in capturing the natural effect of light. Some younger artists who were in favor of Impressionists started imitating them. They exhibited together around eight times between 1874 and 1886.
Paul Cézanne, The Bathers, 1906 | © Museum of Art, Philadelphia/WikiCommons
Later, in the 1880s, Post-Impressionist artists became concerned with the three-dimensional nature of space, objects, and their representation on canvas. Qualities of line, pattern, color, and symbolic subject matter were the main concepts for this artistic movement.
The impressionists were the true masters of painting. The task was to paint from “Nature”, to make use of the discoveries of the impressionist’s masters, and yet to capture the sense of order and necessity that distinguished the art of Poussin. The impressionists had given up mixing the pigment on the palate and had applied them separately onto the canvas in small dabs and dashes to render the flickering reflections of an “open dash air” scene. The techniques of the Impressionists focused more on style rather than the subject matter. They aimed to hold on to the contemporary art world, artists with distinct styles in art practices—including Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, and Henri Rousseau.
Vincent van Gogh, Cypresses, 1889. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York(Wikipedia)
Like the Impressionists, the Post-Impressionists showed their artwork to the public through exhibitions across Paris. In 1910 the art critic, curator, and historian Roger Fry coined the term "Post-Impressionism" with the show, Manet and the Post-Impressionists. Fry believed that the beauty of art is inherently rooted in perception: "Art is an expression and stimulus to the imaginative life rather than a copy of actual life". In An Essay in Aesthetics Fry explains: "Art appreciates emotion in and for itself. The artist is constantly observant of his surroundings and the least affected by their intrinsic aesthetic value. As he contemplates a particular field of vision, the aesthetically chaotic and accidental conjunction of forms and colors begin to crystallize into a harmony." These theories help us understand the commonality of these artists.
The style of landscape painting flourished around the turn of the 20th century in France. Fauvism and Expressionism were introduced with harsh colors and flat surfaces (Fauvism) and emotionally disturbing forms. As the artist in fauvism painted a strong expressive reaction to the subjects spontaneously, expressing with bold brushstrokes and impressive colors. The colors did not have to be true to nature, necessarily. They could be changed to show emotions. Two influential artists of that time were Henri Matisse and Paul Signac. Expressionism came "from within," which is a reflection of the artist's feelings rather than a portrayal of a scene.
The Scream, 1893 by Edvard Munch
Lastly, Contemporary art refers to art that is produced in today’s time which can be named- painting, sculpture, photography, installation, performance, and video art. And when we talk about the landscape in modern and contemporary art wouldn’t be complete without mentioning David Hockney’s art.
David Hockney has gained more popularity than any other British artist of this century. Hockney was one of the first artists to use acrylic paint extensively, which was at that time a relatively new artistic medium. He used acrylic paints to depict the hot, dry landscapes of California. He used to work in a vertical plan by stapling the canvas to his studio wall. He said in his autobiography, "I love the idea first of all of the painting like Leonardo, all his studies of water, swirling things. And I loved the idea of painting this thing that lasts for two seconds: it takes me two weeks to paint this event that lasts for two seconds."
Hockney’s artistic career is mostly connected with the Pop art movement. Recently, he has been widely experimenting with various methodologies for reinventing the landscape genre, including watercolors, photo collages. David Hockney in his recent exhibit “ The Arrival of Spring, Normandy 2020” show at the Royal Academy of Arts 23. He travelled to france with the intension to capture the spring in the rural landscape of normandy. He wanted to observe the richness of the spring to capture the change in the plant and the light. He stared to work in the beginning of the coronavious pandemic when much of the world wenr into the state of lockdown where he focus on the emerging of the spring as a celebration of the joy of natural world.
David Hockney painting 'Winter Timber' in Bridlington, July 2009 © David Hockney. Photo credit: Jean-Pierre Goncalves de Lima
David Hockney, Felled Tress on Woldgate, 2008 © David Hockney
In today’s time, we can see the development of the landscape genre. Landscape as an art genre is forever since it offers so many options for contemporary artists to experiment with new media and to reflect on human nature and our troubled relation with Mother Nature.
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The Evolution of Landscape or Scenery Painting: A Journey Through Different Periods
Scenery painting, particularly landscape painting, has been a cherished art form for centuries. It offers a window into the natural world, showcasing the evolution of artistic styles, techniques, and mediums across different historical periods. This article takes you on a journey through time, exploring the development of scenery painting and the major creators who left their indelible marks on this genre. From the early depictions of the natural world to modern interpretations, the evolution of scenery painting reveals not only artistic innovation but also the shifting perceptions of nature and its significance in the human experience. Prehistoric and Ancient Art: The Birth of Scenery Painting The earliest examples of scenery painting can be traced back to prehistoric times. These paintings, often found in caves, depict scenes of the natural world inhabited by early humans. These ancient artworks serve as a testament to the human urge to document their surroundings and reflect on the world around them. One of the most famous prehistoric scenery paintings is the Lascaux cave paintings in France, dating back to around 15,000 BCE. These paintings, which include depictions of animals and the surrounding environment, give us a glimpse into the artistic sensibilities of early humans and their connection to nature. As civilization advanced, so did the art of scenery painting. In ancient Greece, artists like Apollodorus and Zeuxis created scenic backgrounds for theatrical performances, a practice that would later influence the development of landscape painting in Western art. The Middle Ages: An Age of Symbolism During the Middle Ages, landscape painting was often subordinated to religious and symbolic themes. It served as a backdrop for religious narratives and was intended to convey spiritual meaning rather than to celebrate the beauty of nature itself. One of the significant developments during this period was the inclusion of landscapes in religious art, particularly in illuminated manuscripts and altar paintings. The landscapes were used as settings for biblical events and served to provide context to the religious narratives. Notable creators of this period include artists like Hieronymus Bosch, who painted landscapes that were rich in symbolism and surrealism. His works, such as "The Garden of Earthly Delights," feature landscapes that are intricate and fantastical, reflecting the religious and moral concerns of the time. The Renaissance: Nature as the Divine The Renaissance period witnessed a significant shift in the way nature was perceived and depicted in art. Artists during this time began to explore the idea of nature as a reflection of the divine, and landscape painting evolved to become an independent genre. Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most celebrated figures of the Renaissance, demonstrated a keen interest in the study of nature. His detailed sketches of landscapes and natural phenomena, such as his "Bird's-Eye View of a Landscape," show a deep appreciation for the beauty and complexity of the natural world. Albrecht Dürer, a German artist, made substantial contributions to the genre with his detailed engravings and woodcuts of landscapes. His works, such as "The Large Piece of Turf," displayed a meticulous observation of plant life and a desire to represent nature as realistically as possible. The Dutch Golden Age: Realism and Symbolism The Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century saw the emergence of landscape painting as a prominent genre. Dutch artists, such as Jacob van Ruisdael and Aelbert Cuyp, played pivotal roles in elevating the status of landscape painting, often depicting the serene and idyllic Dutch countryside. Landscape painting during this period embraced both realism and symbolism. Realistic depictions of the Dutch landscape and the daily life of its inhabitants became a hallmark of Dutch Golden Age art. Artists focused on capturing the effects of light, atmosphere, and weather conditions in their landscapes. Aelbert Cuyp, for example, was known for his warm, golden landscapes bathed in sunlight, often featuring cattle and river scenes. His "The Maas at Dordrecht" is a prime example of the Dutch Golden Age landscape, displaying a tranquil, idyllic scene with a masterful use of light and shadow. Jacob van Ruisdael, on the other hand, painted landscapes with dramatic weather and atmospheric conditions. His work "View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds" exemplifies his skill in capturing the shifting moods of nature. The Romantic Period: Nature as a Source of Inspiration The Romantic period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries saw a resurgence of interest in nature, not only as a subject but as a source of inspiration for artists. Nature was seen as a powerful force that could evoke deep emotions and serve as a reflection of the human condition. Artists like Caspar David Friedrich, known for his transcendental landscapes, painted scenes that often featured solitary figures in sublime natural settings. His "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" is an iconic work of Romantic landscape painting, where a lone figure stands on a mountain peak, gazing out at a mist-covered landscape. The Romantic landscape painters often used dramatic and awe-inspiring landscapes to evoke feelings of awe and wonder. This period marked a departure from the strict realism of the Dutch Golden Age, allowing for more emotional and imaginative interpretations of the natural world. The Barbizon School: Pioneers of Plain Air Painting In the 19th century, the Barbizon School in France had a profound impact on the evolution of landscape painting. Artists of this movement, such as Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot and Jean-François Millet, rejected idealized or romanticized depictions of the landscape in favor of a more direct and realistic approach. The Barbizon artists often worked en plein air, or outdoors, to capture the true essence of nature. They sought to convey the simple beauty of the countryside and the daily lives of rural people. Jean-François Millet's "The Gleaners" is a prime example of this approach, depicting three peasant women harvesting grain in a realistic and unidealized manner. The Barbizon School laid the groundwork for the emergence of the Impressionist movement, which would further revolutionize landscape painting. Impressionism: Capturing the Moment Impressionism, which emerged in the late 19th century, was a groundbreaking movement that redefined how landscapes were painted. Artists like Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Camille Pissarro sought to capture the fleeting effects of light and color in the natural world. Claude Monet's "Water Lilies" series is a quintessential example of Impressionist landscape painting. Monet's fascination with the play of light on the water's surface and the changing colors of his garden pond led to a series of paintings that emphasized the transitory nature of the scene. The Impressionists were known for their loose brushwork and the use of broken color to create the illusion of light and atmosphere. They painted en plein air, embracing the spontaneity of nature and the changing conditions of the outdoors. Post-Impressionism: Individual Interpretations Following Impressionism, the Post-Impressionist movement brought forth a diverse range of artistic interpretations. Artists like Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cézanne built upon the Impressionist foundation but sought to imbue their landscapes with personal and emotional elements. Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night" is a prime example of his unique approach to landscape painting. The swirling, starry night sky and the serene village
History of Oil Paintings
Oil paintings have existed for centuries, from the cave paintings of Bamiyan along the Silk Road to American post-war art. There have been several studies related to the origins of oil as a painting medium with some believing that the technique was first developed in the 11th century, while Giorgio Vasari has credited 15th century Flemish painter Jan van Eyck with the “invention” of oil paints in his famous treatise The Lives of the Artists. However, a discovery in 2008 led to the evidence that oil painting existed as early as 650 CE (7th century CE), when anonymous artists used oil that may have been extracted from walnuts or poppies to decorate the caves in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. The practice of easel painting with oil colours started post-1400 CE, to meet the changing requirements of Renaissance artists who were looking for some other medium than pure egg-yolk tempera. The depth and richness of colour in oil paint is unmatched and it’s slow drying time allows artists to manipulate the medium over an extended period giving the artists the flexibility in blending and layering - thin glazes to dense thick impasto, as well as a wide range of tonal transitions and shades producing both opaque and transparent effects, as well as matt and gloss finishes. Considered a hallmark of the Old Masters, particularly during the Northern Renaissance, oil paint was one of the most preferred mediums for Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and iconic modernists like Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky and many others. Although there are several remarkable oil paintings by famous artists to study this medium, we have narrowed down the exhaustive list to 10 iconic works. The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait (1434) remains one of the most visually intriguing paintings of all time. With all of its details and intricacies, the exquisitely rendered work appears to be a straightforward depiction of a wealthy merchant and his wife. However, on a closer look several mysteries emerge along with Van Eyck’s masterful technique which continue to enthrall viewers till today! (Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons) Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa (c. 1503-1519), the painting of a mysterious woman with an enigmatic smile, remains one of the most famous paintings in the world. The sitter is believed to be Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Florence merchant Francesco del Giocondo. The painting is known to be the earliest Italian portrait to focus so closely on the sitter in a half-length portrait. (Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons) The Rape of Europa by Titian The Rape of Europa (c. 1559-1562), tells the mythological story of the abduction of Europa by the king of gods, Jupiter, disguised as a white bull. An example of Titian’s late style, the painting’s refined poignancy lies in his use of colour, vividity, luminous tints, brushwork and subtlety of tone. The oil painting continues to have a profound influence on Western art. (Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons) Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer Sometimes nicknamed the “Mona Lisa of the North”, Girl With a Pearl Earring (1665), is brilliant in its simplicity. The girl, wearing a blue and gold turban and an oversized pearl earring is the entire focus with only a dark backdrop behind her. Interestingly, this masterpiece isn't even a portrait, but a “tronie” - a Dutch word for a painting of an imaginary figure with exaggerated features. (Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons) Le déjeuner sur l'herbe (or The Luncheon on the Grass) by Édouard Manet Manet's masterpiece, Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe (1863), featuring a nude woman picnicking in the company of fully-clothed men, draws inspiration from classical paintings of female nudes. Up until The Luncheon on the Grass, female nudes were represented figures from mythology or allegory. By placing an anonymous unclothed woman in a contemporary everyday setting, Manet bridged the gap between the Realist and Impressionist art movements with its modern approach to style and subject matter. (Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons) The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh Few artists are as renowned for their use of color as Vincent van Gogh. His The Starry Night (1889) full of striking blues and yellows, and the dreamy, swirling atmosphere have intrigued art lovers for decades. The painting was created late into the Dutch painter's short career and depicts the view from his window in the asylum at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. (Image courtesy: Van Gogh Gallery) The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso Painted at the height of Picasso’s Blue Period, The Old Guitarist (1903) depicts a feeble blind old man hugging his guitar. Picasso painted it after his close friend and Spanish poet Carles Casagemas commited suicide. The melancholic state was used by design to haunt onlookers in a way that would make them question why the working class and high-class individuals continued to prosper while those that needed the most help continued to languish in poverty. (Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons) The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali Salvador Dali’s most iconic work, The Persistence of Memory (1931) was painted at the height of the Surrealist art movement. It displays an outlandish subject matter evocative of a dreamscape, which is why it is believed that Dalí was probably hallucinating when he painted the piece. Dalí would attempt to enter a state of self-induced psychotic hallucinations to create what he called “hand-painted dream photographs.” (Image courtesy: Museum of Modern Art, New York) The Kiss by Gustav Klimt Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt was famous for his dazzling use of gold to give a shimmering effect to his paintings and his masterpiece The Kiss (1907-1908) is no different. Made in the Vienna Secession art movement, this intimate portrait captures a tender moment between a pair of lovers. (Image courtesy: Google Art Project) Nighthawks by Edward Hopper The highly evocative American masterpiece Nighthawks (1942) is a stark depiction of loneliness, alienation and the breakdown of city life, epitomizing somber emotions of a period in history riddled with world wars and the great depression. The oil painting is said to have influenced the look and feel of many Hollywood films including Ridley Scott’s futuristic neo-noir Blade Runner (1982). (Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons) Oil paintings are one of the best investments you can make for your home or business. Discover oil paintings for sale on RtistiQ, A Virtual Art Marketplace For Art Lovers And Artists.
7 of the Scariest Art Paintings
With October arriving, we are all getting into the Halloween spirit. And fine art painting has some of the spookiest and most horrifying images to bring you all the terror you could imagine. Artists have often contemplated the darker side of existence, with their efforts rendering up some ghoulish results. Below, we’ll look through seven of the most scary artworks. These are horror paintings that scare and repulse. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Garden of Earthly Delights (c.1500 to 1505) by Hieronymus Bosch Bosch brings horror in his own special way — through surreal and religious imagery. That ability to make the bizarre and beautiful twisted into the scary has made him a major influence up to our present day. In this triptych, by far his most famous work now, the far right panel depicts terrible tortures and debauchery, a vision that you won’t be able to shake off for quite some time. That it all develops out of the tranquility and purity of the far left panel gives this a narrative thrust that makes it all the scarier. Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944) by Francis Bacon You could pick just about any Francis Bacon painting and it would fit on this list. But here, we go with a triptych beloved for its monsters. The work ushered in the artist’s mature period, and represents the full power of Bacon. While created to be used, as the title suggests, at the base of a crucifixion, the monsters are based off of the Furies. This remains a masterpiece of horror, yet the final work of a crucifix with these at the base never came to be. But Bacon painted plenty more scary scenes. The Nightmare (1781) by Henry Fuseli Fuseli made all of our nightmares come true with this Romantic classic. While the painting was controversial at the time for its sexual tones, later critics would admire the profound understanding of human psychology and terror. The face of the incubus really is the stuff of nightmares, and the horse hiding just out of the light will keep you from sleeping. It’s a painting that actually lives up to the broad and massive topic that is its namesake. For this reason, it deserves its place on any list of scary artworks. Saturn Devouring His Son (c. 1891-1823) by Francisco Goya Goya dived into the world of Greek myth to create this magnificently brutal painting. The gore of the half-eaten body and the look of crazed madness in the eyes of Saturn, not to mention the black background (something Goya was doing a lot of at the time), all work together to create chills in any viewer. While many artists have painted this scene from mythology, no one has captured the absolute horror of it — though Peter Paul Rubens got pretty close. The Face of War (1940) by Salvador Da Dalí painted this artwork to refer, in general, to war and the horrors it causes. But the artist wondered often if it actually was a premonition — he painted it in the interim between the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War. Set in a typical Dalí-style desert, the face of anguish has yet more faces of anguish for its eyes and mouth. And in those smaller faces are still smaller faces. It implies that the process of pain and suffering caused by war goes on forever. A truly terrifying thought. Dante and Virgil (1850) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau Bouguereau’s painting comes from the Divine Comedy by Dante. Here, Dante and Virgil are travelling through hell, and they come upon two of the damned trapped in combat. Gianni Schicchi, a fraud in life, bites into the throat of heretical alchemist Capocchio. The exquisite color, chiaroscuro lighting, and palpable mayhem make this a true horror painting masterpiece. The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea (1805) by William Blake This work appears in a series of Blake’s paintings covering the Great Red Dragon. All of these watercolors were meant to be used as Biblical illustrations, with Blake taking his subject matter from the Book of Revelation. Blake’s visionary style and ability to confront the darkness make all of the works in this series captivating as well as horrifying. Collect the latest Halloween collection handpicked by our curators while it is available. Art 1: Vivarium II, Oil on Linen, Adrian Narvaez Caicedo Art 2: Verona II, Oil on canvas, Luciana Livi
ARTICLES ON ART 101
Art Deco Styles: An Iconic Fusion of Elegance and Modernity
Art Deco is a prominent design style that emerged in the 1920s and flourished until the outbreak of World War II. Characterized by its luxurious materials, geometric forms, and streamlined aesthetic, Art Deco became a symbol of glamour and sophistication during the interwar period. This design movement impacted various visual arts, architecture, fashion, and interior design aspects. This article will delve into the captivating world of Art Deco styles, exploring its origins, key characteristics, influential artists and architects, and its lasting legacy. Origins and Influences Art Deco drew inspiration from various sources, blending elements from different cultures, historical periods, and artistic movements. The style's name derives from the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris, where it was first showcased. However, its roots can be traced back to the early 20th century, influenced by the avant-garde art movements of the time, such as Cubism and Fauvism. One of the significant influences on Art Deco was the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922, which sparked a craze for Egyptian motifs and symbolism. This fascination with ancient Egypt led to incorporation of pyramids, sphinxes, hieroglyphics, and other Egyptian-inspired motifs into Art Deco designs. Additionally, the style's streamlined forms and angular geometry were influenced by the emerging field of industrial design and the aesthetic of machines. Key Characteristics Art Deco is characterized by distinct visual features that make it instantly recognizable. Here are some key characteristics of Art Deco styles: Geometric Shapes: Art Deco embraces geometric shapes, such as zigzags, chevrons, triangles, and stepped forms. These shapes are often used to create dynamic, visually striking compositions. Streamlined Silhouettes: Inspired by the sleek lines of modern technology and transportation, Art Deco features streamlined, aerodynamic silhouettes. These can be seen in the period's buildings, furniture, and even fashion designs. Luxurious Materials: Art Deco celebrates luxury and opulence, employing exotic woods, marble, chrome, glass, and precious metals like gold and silver. These lavish materials contribute to the overall sense of elegance associated with the style. Decorative Elements: Art Deco designs often incorporate elaborate decorative elements, such as sunbursts, stylized floral motifs, and geometric patterns. These decorative details add a touch of sophistication to the overall composition. Bold Colors: Art Deco embraces bold, contrasting colour schemes. Vivid hues like royal blue, emerald green, ruby red, and vibrant yellow are frequently used to create a visually striking impact. Sunburst Motifs: The sunburst motif, symbolizing energy and optimism, is a recurring theme in Art Deco designs. It is often represented as a radiating pattern of geometric lines or a stylized sun. Influential Artists and Architects Numerous artists and architects played significant roles in shaping and popularizing Art Deco styles. Here are a few key figures: Tamara de Lempicka: A prominent Art Deco painter, de Lempicka's works epitomize the style's elegance and glamour. Her portraits often featured fashionable, confident women in luxurious settings. Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann: Ruhlmann was a renowned French furniture designer who created exquisite Art Deco pieces. His furniture designs combined luxurious materials with precise craftsmanship and sleek silhouettes. Erté: A Russian-born artist and designer, Erté was renowned for his extravagant fashion illustrations and costume designs. His work showcased the epitome of Art Deco elegance and sophistication. Raymond Hood: An influential architect, Hood's designs include the iconic Rockefeller Center in New York City. He incorporated Art Deco elements into the skyscraper's design, contributing to the style's popularity in the United States. Clarice Cliff: A British ceramic artist, Cliff revolutionized the pottery industry with her bold and colourful Art Deco designs. Her pottery pieces featured geometric patterns and vibrant glazes. Legacy and Modern Interpretations Although the heyday of Art Deco was in the early 20th century, its influence and appeal continue to resonate in modern design. Art Deco elements can be found in contemporary architecture, interior design, and fashion. In architecture, buildings like the Chrysler Building in New York City and the Napier Municipal Theatre in New Zealand exemplify the enduring impact of Art Deco. These structures continue to captivate audiences with their sleek lines, decorative details, and innovative use of materials. In interior design, Art Deco-inspired furniture and decor remain highly sought after. The style's emphasis on luxury and glamour translates well into modern homes, with its sleek lines and geometric patterns adding a touch of sophistication to any space. Art Deco influences can be seen in the designs of many contemporary fashion houses. The use of bold colours, geometric patterns, and luxurious materials harkens back to the elegance and allure of the Art Deco era. Conclusion Art Deco styles represent a fascinating fusion of elegance and modernity. Emerging in the 1920s, this design movement embraced geometric shapes, luxurious materials, and bold colours. Its influence extended to various artistic fields, leaving an indelible mark on architecture, interior design, fashion, and more. With its timeless appeal, Art Deco continues to captivate audiences and inspire contemporary design. The legacy of this iconic style serves as a testament to its enduring popularity and artistic significance.
Exploring Pop Art: Definition, Movement, and Notable Artists
Pop Art emerged as a vibrant and influential artistic movement in the mid-1950s, challenging traditional notions of art and embracing the popular culture of the time. With its bold imagery, vibrant colors, and incorporation of everyday objects, Pop Art brought art closer to the masses. This article explores the definition, key characteristics, notable artists, and lasting impact of Pop Art on the art world and popular culture. What is Pop Art? Pop Art, short for "popular art," was a movement that emerged in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1950s and 1960s. It was a reaction against the dominant abstract expressionist movement, which focused on subjective, introspective, and non-representational art. Pop Art, on the other hand, celebrated the ordinary, the commercial, and the mundane, drawing inspiration from mass-produced consumer goods, advertising, and popular culture. What are the characteristics of Pop Art? Appropriation and Repetition: Pop Art often incorporated images and objects taken from popular culture, such as product packaging, comic books, and celebrities. Artists manipulated and repeated these images to highlight their significance and challenge the concept of originality. Bold Colors and Simplified Forms: Pop artists used vibrant, eye-catching colors to attract attention and evoke a sense of consumerism. They simplified forms and employed graphic techniques, reminiscent of advertising and comic book aesthetics. Irony and Critique: Pop Art often conveyed a sense of irony and critique by juxtaposing disparate elements, subverting traditional art forms, and challenging societal norms. It questioned the boundaries between high and low culture, art and mass production, and the commercialization of society. Leading Artists of the Pop Art Movement Andy Warhol: One of the most iconic figures associated with Pop Art, Warhol employed screen-printing techniques to reproduce everyday objects, such as Campbell's soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles. His work explored themes of consumerism, fame, and the cult of celebrity. Roy Lichtenstein: Lichtenstein is renowned for his comic book-inspired paintings, featuring bold lines, Ben-Day dots, and speech bubbles. By appropriating and enlarging comic strip panels, he elevated popular culture to the realm of high art. Claes Oldenburg: Oldenburg's sculptures took ordinary objects and transformed them into monumental works of art. His oversized sculptures of hamburgers, typewriters, and clothespins challenged the viewer's perception of scale and materiality. Richard Hamilton: Considered the father of British Pop Art, Hamilton explored the relationship between art and technology. His collage-like works incorporated images from advertising, cinema, and popular magazines, reflecting the media-saturated society. Impact and Legacy Pop Art's influence extends far beyond its initial emergence in the 1960s. Its vibrant and accessible style has had a lasting impact on contemporary art, design, fashion, and popular culture. Pop Art paved the way for subsequent art movements such as Neo-Pop, Street Art, and the appropriation art of the 1980s. It blurred the boundaries between high and low art, challenged the traditional notions of artistic value, and emphasized the democratization of art. Concluding Remarks Pop Art revolutionized the art world by breaking away from the abstract and introspective tendencies of the time. It celebrated the everyday, the commercial, and the popular culture, making art more accessible to a wider audience. Through its use of appropriation, bold colors, and irony, Pop Art continues to captivate and inspire, leaving an indelible mark on contemporary art and popular culture.
Exploring Art Medium: A Fusion of Category and Material in Art Creation
Art is a vast and diverse realm that encompasses a wide range of creative expressions. Within this realm, the concept of "Art Medium" holds a crucial role, serving as the bridge between artistic intent and tangible creation. The medium that an artist chooses to work with can have a significant impact on the style and meaning of the artwork. For example, a painting made with oil paints will have a different look and feel than a painting made with watercolors. In the context of Art attribution "Art Medium" has been used interchangeably to refer both the category of artwork and the materials used to bring forth an artist's vision. This article delves into the multifaceted nature of art medium, exploring its dual significance in the world of art. Art Medium as a Category of Art In its first sense, an art medium represents the various categories or disciplines within the field of art. Each medium possesses distinct characteristics, techniques, and artistic approaches. Let's explore some of the prominent art mediums: Painting: Painting is a traditional and widely recognized medium that employs pigments on surfaces such as canvas, paper, or wood. It encompasses various styles like oil painting, watercolor, acrylics, and mixed media, each offering unique visual qualities and expressive possibilities. Painting, Pop Horizon by Barron Holand Sculpture: Sculpture involves shaping and manipulating materials such as stone, wood, metal, clay, or even found objects. Artists create three-dimensional forms that can range from classical figurative representations to abstract and conceptual installations. Sculpture, S-04 BIG FOOT by Aleks Rosenberg Drawing: Drawing is a fundamental art medium that employs pencils, pens, charcoal, or other tools to create two-dimensional representations. It encompasses techniques like sketching, shading, and hatching, allowing artists to convey ideas, explore compositions, and develop their artistic skills. Drawing, Dancer in Red by NK Hong Photography: Photography born from the marriage of science and art, captures moments through the lens of a camera. It employs light-sensitive materials and digital technologies to immortalize scenes, people, and emotions, providing a unique perspective on the world. Photography, La grève Je T'aime by Gudzovsky Printmaking: Printmaking encompasses various techniques such as etching, lithography, screen printing, and relief printing. Artists create multiple copies of their artworks, each possessing its own subtle variations, by transferring images onto paper or other surfaces. Ceramics: Ceramics involves working with clay, shaping it into objects, and firing them in kilns to achieve hardness and permanence. This ancient medium encompasses functional pottery, decorative vessels, sculptures, and intricate porcelain works. Textiles: Textile art employs fabrics, threads, and fibers to create tactile and visually engaging works. It includes techniques like weaving, embroidery, quilting, and textile installations, exploring themes of culture, identity, and materiality. Installation and Performance Art:: These mediums go beyond traditional forms, embracing immersive experiences and the participation of the audience. Artists use various materials, space, sound, and movement to create site-specific installations or enact performances that challenge the boundaries of art. Digital NFT: Very recently Digital NFT is being regarded as an art medium, and more importantly revolutionising Digital Art representation. Utilizing blockchain technology, NFTs represent unique digital assets, such as artwork, music, or videos, providing a secure and verifiable link between the digital file and ownership rights. Art Medium as Material Used in Art Creation In the alternate context, an art medium refers to the specific materials and tools employed by artists to bring their artistic visions to life. The choice of medium significantly influences the aesthetic outcome and the creative process itself. Artists often use it to describe how they created their artwork, which gives a sense of how it needs to be viewed as well. For e.g. Oil paintings ( referenced as "Oil on Canvas") are best observed from a distance to get a more clearer understanding and the depth of the Art. Again depending on the Category of work there are different materials used to fulfill the Artistic vision of the creator. Here are some examples of art mediums in the context of Material Used Paints: Artists use various types of paints, including oil paints, watercolors, acrylics, and gouache, each with its own characteristics and techniques. These pigments, when combined with binders, allow artists to manipulate color, texture, and opacity on different surfaces. A combination of the paint type and the support used form the Medium used for the artwork, for e.g. Oil on Canvas, Gouache on paper, Acrylic on Linen etc... Drawing Tools: Pencils, pens, charcoal, markers, and pastels are all examples of drawing tools that artists employ. These tools vary in hardness, texture, and line quality, enabling artists to create intricate details or bold, expressive strokes. Sculpting Materials: Sculptors utilize a plethora of materials such as stone, wood, metal, clay, plastic, and even unconventional materials like ice or food. Each material offers its unique qualities, texture, and potential for manipulation. Cameras and Photographic Equipment: With the advent of photography, cameras and photographic equipment became vital art mediums. Film cameras, digital cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, and photo-editing software all contribute to the creation of photographic art. Printmaking Supplies: Printmaking relies on materials like printing plates, inks, brayers, and printing presses. These tools facilitate the transfer of images from the plate to the chosen substrate, resulting in distinct prints with their own visual characteristics. Clay and Kilns: Ceramics artists employ different types of clay, glazes, and firing techniques to shape and fire their creations. The firing process in kilns transforms the raw materials into durable and visually captivating ceramic pieces. Fabrics and Threads: Textile artists utilize a wide range of fabrics, threads, dyes, and surface design techniques to create intricate tapestries, clothing, quilts, or fiber-based sculptures. The choice of fabric and the application of techniques contribute to the overall visual and tactile impact of the artwork. The Importance of Art Medium The medium that an artist chooses to work with can have a significant impact on the style and meaning of the artwork. For example, a painting made with oil paints will have a different look and feel than a painting made with watercolors. The medium can also affect the way that the viewer interacts with the artwork, an example being, a sculpture that is made from metal will feel different to the touch than a sculpture that is made from wood. The art medium is of utmost importance in the representation of art as it influences the aesthetics, technical possibilities, symbolic significance, and cultural context of an artwork. It allows artists to express their vision, engage viewers, and communicate their intended messages effectively. The careful consideration and deliberate selection of the art medium contribute to the overall artistic expression and impact of the artwork.Different art mediums have evolved throughout history and across cultures, reflecting the societal and historical context in which they originated. The selection of a particular medium can evoke associations and references to specific art movements, traditions, or periods. The Future of Art Mediums The art world is constantly evolving, and new art mediums are being developed all the time. For example, digital art is becoming increasingly popular, as artists use computers and other digital tools to create their work. It is impossible to predict what the future holds for art mediums. However, it is likely that new art mediums will continue to be developed, and that artists will continue to experiment with different materials and techniques. It's important to note that the future of art mediums will be shaped by the creativity and experimentation of artists themselves, as they continue to push boundaries, embrace new technologies, and explore innovative approaches to art-making. The possibilities are vast, and the future of art mediums for visual artists holds exciting potential for artistic expression and engagement with audiences. Digital, Augmented and Virtual Realities, Mixed Media, Eco-Friendly Materials, BioArt and Living Materials, all are being explored, included and evolved for Artists to continously push the boundaries of their creative abilities to produce thought provoking artworks. Conclusion In the realm of art, the term "art medium" embraces a dual meaning. It encompasses both the categorization of art forms and the materials employed by artists. The category of art medium reflects the different disciplines and techniques artists employ to create their work, while the material aspect highlights the tangible tools and substances used to manifest their creative visions. Artists' choices of medium significantly influence the visual, tactile, and conceptual qualities of their artworks. Furthermore, contemporary artists often push the boundaries of traditional mediums by exploring hybrid forms and incorporating new technologies. Understanding the significance of art medium enhances our appreciation for the diverse expressions and the innovative approaches artists employ in their creative endeavors.