Visual Arts Timeline

This timeline discusses the various artistic influences throughout history.


Classical Period

1200 AD - 1400 AD

During the Classical Period, sculptors wanted to show people and animals from all sides and angles. Sculptors wanted people to be able to walk around their sculptures and admire every part of them. They still carved decorations into walls, but they produced more large, free-standing sculpture.

Renaissance Period

1400 AD - 1600 AD

During the Renaissance, artists were able to create art that was even more realistic than the art of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Renaissance artists were the first to use perspective in their art.


1600 AD - 1700 AD

Renaissance painters created a lot of portraits and religious paintings. Baroque painters did the same. In order to make their biblical scenes familiar to people, artists used real people as models for their religious figures. Baroque artists wanted to show life the way it really it was.

Art Brut

1800 AD - 1870 AD

"Art brut” means “raw art.” It is used to describe art created by talented artists that didn't live in society. It is known as the art of the insane. The wasn't used until the mid-1940s and it was later used to refer to other forms of outsider art.


1870 AD - 1890 AD

The impressionists painted most of their paintings outdoors and liked to recreate natural objects like trees, fields, and oceans. They would often take their materials outdoors and paint what they saw.


1880 AD - 1900 AD

Pointillism describes the image created when a painter uses the point of his brush to dab small dots of random color onto his canvas that, when viewed from a distance, appeared as a picture.

Art Nouveau

1890 AD - 1905 AD

Art Nouveau usually consists of curvy lines with smooth surfaces. The object will look like it has grown from nature. Often, artists used natural objects for inspiration such as seashells, flames, trees, flowers, and animals.


1900 AD - 1920 AD

Color was the most important aspect of a fauvist painting. For example, when painting a portrait of a woman with very dark hair, a fauvist might choose to use blue in the hair to show just how dark it was. He might use yellow for the skin instead of a carefully mixed bronze. Shadows might be drawn in greens and purples instead of grey.


1907 AD - 1914 AD

Cubists wanted to show the most important parts of the things they painted. They wanted to show all the sides of an object in the same picture. Some cubist paintings were extremely abstract. At first, cubists used very little color in their paintings. They used mostly browns, greys, and blues.


1916 AD - 1920 AD

The Dadaists wanted to make things seem crazy and absurd. They meant for us to rethink common items so that we might rethink our world.

De Stijl

1917 AD - 1920 AD

Artists simplified their paintings as much as possible until they were left with only lines and simple colors. They used only red, yellow, and blue, and black, white, and grey.


1924 AD - 1930 AD

Surrealists wanted to free their minds of rational thought, to write or paint the ideas that came to their minds.They did not want their art to make sense.

Pop Art

1960 AD - 2012 AD

Pop art presented images from popular culture such as advertisement, news, etc. Pop art can be any every day item that is drawn in a noisy and colorful way. Pop Art is short for Popular Art.