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Art Movements 1/2

Art Movements 1/2

There were, and are, many schools, movements, groups and styles in art, to make up the wide selection of artwork that we have available for you here. Here is a very brief introduction to them.

There were, and are, many schools, movements, groups and styles in art, to make up the wide selection of artwork that we have available for you here. Here is a very brief introduction to them.  


Abstract Expressionism

This post-World War 2 American art movement was the first to achieve international influence for New York and put it at the center of the western art world, replacing Paris.

Avant-garde, rebellious, anarchic and nihilistic, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Barnett Newman, Willem De Kooning and Jackson Pollock splashed paint about freely and advanced art in leaps and bounds at the same time.


A style of painting and sculpture produced under the influence of European academies of art had the tendency to consolidate art to keep it safe.

Academic art artists, such as Paul Delaroche and Thomas Couture, followed the standards of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts, and the movements of Neoclassicism and Romanticism, that looked to preserve existing art rather than to move it forward too fast.

Art Deco

Our prints of the work of Tamara de Lempicka show well the eclectic, decorative and ornamental style of this artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s and into the World War 2.

The style influenced architecture, interior design, industrial design, fashion and jewelry, as well as the visual arts. It was enriched by elements taken from Cubism, Constructivism and Futurism.

Art Nouveau

Initially named in Paris as Style Mucha after the distinctive decorative "whiplash" motifs in the posters of Czech artist Alphonse Maria Mucha, this became an international philosophy involving architecture, applied arts, and especially the decorative art, that was very popular during 1890–1910.

Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec and Gustav Klimt made work in the design style with its characteristic curves formed by dynamic, undulating and flowing lines, flying in syncopated rhythm.

Ashcan School

Eight American artists and newspaper illustrators, including John Sloan and Robert Henri, formed this realist artistic movement during the early 20th century, best known for portraying scenes of daily life in New York's poorer neighborhoods.

Robert Henri "wanted art to be akin to journalism. He wanted paint to be as real as mud, as the clods of horse-shit and snow that froze on Broadway in the winter."


Started in 1600 in Rome, the style expanded in Europe, featuring exaggerated lighting, intense emotions and release from restraint. in a period of artistic sensationalism.

A part of the Counter-Reformation, the movement affirmed the emotional depths of the Catholic faith and glorified the power and influence both church and monarchy in direct response to the puritanical backlash of the Reformation.


The avant-garde Cubism art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger and others, hit Europe with the force of a revolution early in the 20th century.

Cubists painters suddenly sought to analyze their model objects differently then broke them up and reassembled them in abstracted forms, not depicting objects from one viewpoint but from a multitude of views, to give different context to the subject.


Avant-garde artists also early in the 20th century reacted violently to the horrors of World War 1, blaming reason and logic of bourgeois capitalistic society for the bloodshed.

Beginning in Zurich, Switzerland in 1916 and spreading to Berlin, Dadaists, such as Georg Groz and Marcel Duchamp, went out of their way to prize nonsense, irrationality, chaos and intuition as their cure for the prevailing norms that to them had gone badly wrong.

Dutch Golden Age

Master painters Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer flourished in their creativity in the socalled Dutch Golden Age that roughly spanned the 17th century. In this period Dutch commerce, science, military and art achieved world acclaim.

Early Netherlandish

The career of painter Jan van Eyck spanned the period in the Low Countries during 15th and 16th centuries known as Early Netherlandish painting.

Painters, such as Hans Memling and Rogier van der Weyden, worked especially in the flourishing cities of Bruges and Ghent. The end of this period is seen as being marked by t the death of Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1569.

Early Renaissance

The astonishing talents of Masaccio,Fra Angelico, Paolo Uccello, Piero della Francesca and Verrocchio graced this period in the Italian Renaissance from early 15th to late 16th centuries, centered on that fabled cultural city of Florence.


Experimentation in art-exists just about wherever and whenever art is made.

A consistently experimental surrealist artist was Joan Miró, the Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor and ceramicist, born in Barcelona, who lived from 1893 to 1983.

Miró always expressed contempt for conventional painting that was seen by him as supporting bourgeois society. He famously declared that his work was an "assassination of painting".


Originating at the beginning of the 20th century in Germany, this avant-garde art movement, with painters such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Franz Marc, presented the world only in a subjective way, distorting it at will for emotional effect and to evoke moods or ideas, much of which contained emotional angst.


Called les Fauves(French for "the wild beasts") early 20th century, for their preference for wild and free use of strong color over the representational values, a group of artists, led by Henri Matisse and André Derain, made waves in bold and beautiful ways in only three exhibitions in Paris between 1904–1908.

Folk Art

Folk art, such as paintings by Anna Robertson Moses in England, is art made by the masses: indigenous natives, peasants and other laboring tradespeople. It is mostly utilitarian and decorative, often in a naïve style rather than seeking to be purely aesthetic, as does fine art.

German Romanticism

A dominant movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries in all aspects of German culture, German romantics tried to forge a new synthesis of philosophy, science and art, looking backward to the Middle Ages as a simpler and more unified time The timelessness of nature also featured large in the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, for example.


This Medieval art style developed in France from Romanesque art in the mid-12th century and accompanied the advent of Gothic architecture.

In frescos and panel paintings of Giotto, Duccio di Buoninsegna and Gentile da Fabriano, religious figures become smaller relating to background landscape and were more expressive.

High Renaissance

The spectacular flowering of creativity in the Italian Renaissance reached its peak of some 30 years between 1490 and 1520s when Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael (need we say more?) were painting in Rome, under the patronage of Pope Julius II.

Hudson River School

A group of romantic American landscape painters in mid-19th century, led by founder Thomas Cole, painted romantic visions of the Hudson River Valley and surrounding areas, including the Catskill, Adirondack, and White Mountains.


The now well-loved work of this art movement of Paris-based artists during the 1870s and 1880s, first met with harsh opposition from the conventional art community in France.

Undeterred, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Eduard Manet and others painted ordinary subject matter their canvases, often in the open air, with small brushstrokes to capture beautifully the changing qualities of light.



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