Adv Graphic Design - Art Movements




1850 - 1899

Started in mid-1800s in France. Realism is a style of painting that depicts things that you would see in everyday life. This movement was a revolt against romanticism; there was an emphasis on things that were real and existing instead of imaginary things. Famous artists include Jean-François Millet & Gustave Courbet.


1870 - 1885

Started in France. Impressionism is a style of painting where artists painted subjects from everyday life and fleeting moments in time instead of history and mythology. Paintings are usually light, bright and bold and have unblended/visible brush strokes. Famous artists include Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Art Nouveau

1880 - 1910

International style of art, clothing, jewelry, furniture, and architecture. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art". The style was inspired by natural forms/structures, flower/plants, and curved lines. Some words that describe the style - fluidness, curvy, intricate, decorative, flowery, vine patterns. The style usually includes lots of parabolas, such as the eiffel tower or Tiffany lamps. Famous Artists include Alphonse Mucha and Gustav Klimt.

British Arts & Crafts

1880 - 1910

The industrial revolution badly impacted the life of people in Britain. The reaction was that homes became a sanctuary. The style was about getting away from excesses and returning to hand-made, well-crafted objects. Famous British artists include William Morris.

American Arts & Crafts

1900 - 1914

Style was greatly influenced by Industrial Revolution and was about reducing excess and unnecessary ornamentation. Furniture, textiles, ceramics design were all part of the movement. Famous artists include Gustave Stickley and Charles Limbert.


1907 - 1920

Cubism takes real world objects and breaks them down into simple geometric shapes, causing the art to look fractured. Cubism rejects the fact that art should imitate real-life and have depth. Cubism looks at subjects in multiple angles at the same time. Famous artists include Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso.


1919 - 1933

Walter Gropius started an art and architectural design school called "Bauhaus" (pronounced "bow-house") to make objects for mass production, which up until that point was not common. The designers created decorative art and designed elements into basic geometric forms. The designs from this school still heavily influence architectural designers today, even though the school was shut down due to WWII in 1933.


1920 - 1966

Surrealism is a type of art dealing with the relationship between the real world, the imagination, and the subconcious mind. People, backgrounds and objects in the art are often drawn/painted in a realstic style, but the different elements are arranged in an unrealistic or impossible way. The art rejected the everyday world and created it's own reality. This movement influenced art, books, poems and even movies. Famous artists include Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali.

Art Deco

1920 - 1940

The Decorative Art movement, or Art Deco movement, borrowed from all the design styles of the past in order to fashion the future. This movement is known for its influence on architecture, advertising, interior design and fashion. Some words that describe the style - geometric, jazzy, graceful, streamlinined, sleek. Incorporated new industrialized materials like chrome, plastic, stainless steel into designs. Shapes used in design are more zig zag, broad curves. Think old movie theaters, old skyscrapers (Chrystler Building).

Abstract Expressionism

1940 - 1960

Movement started in New York City. Abstract expressionist art was supposed to convey internse personal emotions through bold shapes, colors, and patterns. These art pieces were a profound and urgent expression of self. This art was their voice and their soul which was unique for the time. Famous artists include Jackson Polluck and Mark Rothko.

Pop Art

1955 - 1970

The movement began in Britain. Pop Art treats ordinary items as art. Pop art was a reaction against traditional views of art and "high" culture. Artists treated "low" culture as high art and challenged the public idea. Famous artists include Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg.