Renaissance to Post impressionism


Early Renaissance

1300 - 1450

Early Renaissance, centered in the 14th to 15th century Italy, was a period of dramatic and total change. It was the rebirth of deep intellectual ideas, and classical values of humanism. Ancient Greek and Latin texts were rediscovered and taught to aspiring students. In this new period where humanism started to rise, artists started to put more value in humans itself rather than Gods and Goddesses. Painters imitated the style of classical paintings, with an emphasis on symmetry and perfect form.

Famous Artists and their Arts:
Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455)
"Gates of Paradise" (1450)

Benozzo Gozzoli (1420-1497)
"Procession of the Magi" (1461)

Donatello (1386-1466)
"David" (1440)

Fra Angelico (1395-1455)
"The Annunciation" (1450)

Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510)
"La Primavera" (1482)

High Renaissance

1480 - 1520

The High Renaissance, like the Early Renaissance, was centered in Italy. In this time period, the artistic value and style from the works of Ancient Rome and Greece, were recaptured. The knowledge gained from those ancient pieces of arts, as well as the the techniques learned in the Early Renaissance, blossomed in the works from the High Renaissance. The paintings from this period show that the artists used oil paint, mastered the skills of very intricate facial expressions and the use of different tones of color,

Artists during the High Renaissance were extremely ambitious--It was their goal to build up on the knowledge the ancient artists gained. Famous artists from this period were multi-talented. Leonardo da Vinci, for example, was an artist, scientist, engineer, inventor, anatomist, philosopher, and so much more. Michelangelo was also very talented; he was a painter, a sculptor, and a very gifted poet. The knowledge gained in this era is still important and significant today.

Famous Artists and their Art Works:

Leonardo da Vinci
"Virtruvian Man" (1490)

"David" (1504)

"Madonna del Parto"

"Assumption of the Virgin" (1518)

"The Three Philosophers" (1509)


1527 - 1600

Mannerism is used to describe art works from Italy, and "Northern Mannerism," is used to describe the mannerist paintings from Northern Europe. The pieces of art created during this period were drastically different from those of the Renaissance. It was another era of unique changes.
Mannerism was a time where artists painted with over-elaborate distortion, bizarre positioning of human bodies, and ambiguous spaces. One can say that those paintings were "mannered", with complexity, and the deep meanings behind figures that were both natural and imaginative at the same time.

Artists and their Art Works:
"An Allegory of Venus and Cupid" (1545)

"Madonna dal Colla Lungo" (1535)

"The Last Judgement" (1541)

"The Rape of the Sabine Women" (1582)

Benvenuto Cellini
"Perseus with the Head of Medusa" (1541)

Jacopo Pontormo
"Joseph in Egypt" (1518)

"Portrait of Bia de'Medici" (1545)

Giuseppe Arcimboldo
"Autumn" (1573)

Baroque Art

1600 - 1700

In the year 1517, Martin Luther King sent in his "95 Theses", which was a paper that heavily criticized the Catholic church because of its greed and abuse of power. Martin Luther King thought it was wrong and unfair that the Catholic church saved humans from sin only if they were loyal and faithful--it seemed as if good deeds did not matter at all. In response, the Catholic church was divided, and the protestants emerged to uphold Martin Luther King's ideas.

This religious reformation heavily influenced culture, politics, and most importantly, art.
This event created a significant period in art history called "Baroque Art", which was centered in Rome, but eventually spread to most of Europe. Baroque Art was very different from the arts in the Renaissance or during Mannerism. The paintings were usually direct, obvious, and dramatic. The arts also very close to reality--many people were able to connect with them. The use of color is also an important aspect of baroque art. Baroque artists used very dramatic colors, and loved contrast, such as black and white, light and dark. One major difference from Renaissance art is that Baroque art has a lot of overlapping figures, while Renaissance artists painted figures as realistically as possible.

Famous Artists and the Arts:
Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini
"The Ecstasy of St. Teresa" (1652)

"The Conversion on the way to Damascus" (1601)

Peter Paul Rubens
"The Four Continents" (1615)

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
"Descent from the Cross" (1634)

Diego Valazquez
"Las Meninas" (1656)

"The Crucifixion of St. Peter" (1601)

Gian Lorenzo Bernini
"Apollo and Daphne" (1625)

"The Night Watch" (1642)

Rococo Art

1700 - 1776

Louis XIV was the King who ruled France for 72 years and 110 days. His death in 1715, created a shift from monarchy to an aristocracy. In response to this change in leadership, this new style of art, Rococo, emerged. Rococo art was centered in France, and instead of using dramatic colors, it used soft pastel colors. The paintings and other forms of art in this period often portrayed the rich aristocratic life. Mythological themes were often a big part of the art, and many artists conveyed underlying ideas like beauty, romance, playfulness, or perhaps sexual symbols.

Famous art works:
Jean-Antoine Watteau
"The Embarkation for Cythera" (1717)

Francois Lemoyne
"Hercules and Omphale" (1724)

Nicolas de Largilliere
"Study of Hands" (1715)

Jean-Baptiste van Loo
"The Triumph of Galatea" (1720)

Francis Hayman
"Dancing Milkmaids" (1735)

Jean-Honore Fragonard
"A young Girl Reading" (1776)

Jean-Antoine Watteau
"Pilgrimage to Cythera" (1717)

Jean-Honoré Fragonard
"The Swing" (1767)


1765 - 1850

After the French Revolution of 1784, when the ordinary citizens had a major battle with the rich aristocrats, Europe was in the middle of political crises, wars, and dramatic change. In response to chaotic state of Europe, a new art period called "Romanticism" began in Germany, eventually spreading through France, Britain, and other European countries.
Adding on to the key elements of Neoclassical Art, which were respect and responsibility, Romanticism had an emphasis on emotional and spiritual aspects of life. Artists created art which represented the unattainable ideas. Also, in the midst of Europe's chaos, artists made art that made people feel a sense of nostalgia. Many people wanted to go back to the times where things were more peaceful, and more relaxed.

Famous art works:
Karl Friedrinch Schinkel
"Gothic Cathedral By the Water" (1813)

John Constable
"The Hay Wain" (1821)

Francisco Goya
"The Third of May" (1814)

J.M.W. Turner
"The Slave Ship" (1840)

Theodore Gericault
"The Raft of Medusa" (1819)

Eugène Delacroix
"Liberty Leading the People" (1830)

Caspar David Friedrich
"Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" (1818)

Henry Fuseli
"The Nightmare" (1781)


1860 - 1889

Impressionism marks the shift from traditional European art to modern art, thus known as the first modern art movement. This style of art originated in Paris, France, and it eventually spread to the United States and several other parts of the world. Being rejected from famous state-sponsored exhibitions, salons, the impressionist painters rented a studio and showcased their works. Their paintings were, however, not appreciated, but they did raise some critics. The critics said that the paintings seemed incomplete, and only left a fleeting "impression", Little did the critics know, that was exactly what the painters were trying to capture--an impression.

Impressionist paintings are very unique and more "modern" compared to the other styles of art mentioned earlier. The artists studied optic physics, and they were successful in creating a more exact representation of colors and tones. They applied several colors of paint in smaller touches, without much precision or detail. There were many paintings that depicted a particular glimpse of a scene outside.

Famous Art Works:
Edouard Manet
"Le dejeuner sur l'herbe" (1863)

Berthe Morisot
"In a Park" (1874)

Camille Pissarro
"The Boulevard Montmatre on a Winter Morning" (1897)

Claude Monet
"Impression Sunrise" (1872)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
"Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette" (1876)

Edgar Degas
"The Ballet Class" (1874)

Berte Morisot
"The Cradle" (1872)

Claude Monet
"Coquelicots, La promenade " (1873)


1885 - 1905

Post-Impressionism, often known as the extension of Impressionism, originated in Paris, France. Artists in this movement wanted to stretch the boundaries created by the Impressionists, and develop modern art even further. Some of the most important Post-Impressionist movement includes Early Expressionism, Pointillism, and Neo-Impressionism. In this period, artists used lights, shadows, colors, and a variety of different shapes to express their message on to the canvas. A lot of the art works from this period are thoughtful and emotional.

Famous Art Works:
Paul Gauguin
"Vision After the Sermon" (1888)

Georges Seurat
"Sunday Afternoon on the Islands of La Grande Jatte" (1886)

Édouard Vuillard
"Octagonal Self Portrait" (1890)

Vincent van Gogh
"Portrait of Doctor Gachet" (1890)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
"Moulin Rouge: La Goulue" (1891)

Edvard Munch
"The Scream" (1893)

Paul Cézanne
"The Large Bathers" (1906)

Henri Rousseau
"The Dream" (1910)