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Unit 4

4.2 Artistic Movements and their Characteristics

7 min readโ€ขoctober 28, 2020

cait

Cait Levin

charly511115

Charly Castillo


AP Art Historyย ๐Ÿ–ผ

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Artistic Movements and their Characteristics

Rococo (1700-1750 CE)

Painting

  • Artists used delicate, curvilinear lines rather than straight ones to add playfulness and romance to their works.
  • Beauty of nature is a theme in some Rococo works like The Swing.
  • Pastel colors are commonly used (the work below has soft yellows in the lace and pinks on the cheeks โฌ‡๏ธ)
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-YHitifPzBR2j.png?alt=media&token=760ab1d2-9f0d-4618-90f6-0ea4471daeca

Image Courtesy of AP Art History. Self-Portrait.

Neoclassicism (1750-1815 CE)

Architecture

  • Inspired by the principles of classical Greco-Roman ๐Ÿ›๏ธarchitecture (composition, symmetry, balance, etc.)

Painting

  • Depicted biblical and mythological stories, especially those that were an exemplum virtutis (a heroic, virtuous scene that the viewer could be inspired by)
  • Use of linear perspective (creating the illusion that something painted on a 2D surface is 3D through lines, which all meet up at a certain part of the work called the vanishing point)

Sculpture

  • Made from marble and unpainted ๐Ÿ–Œ๏ธ
  • Wearing clothing of the time, rather than Greek and Roman outfits
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-IFxR79JPTUBt.jpg?alt=media&token=c12777b3-15d6-4243-9dbb-895c31f7e7b5

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0). George Washington.

Romanticism (1789-1848 CE)

Painting

  • Depicted the sublime (anything that makes its viewers look in awe ๐Ÿ˜ฑ)
  • Many paintings had political messages about events that were occurring at the time, like the French Revolution, Peninsular War (war fought by Spain and Portugal against France after Napoleon Bonaparte made his brother the King of Spain), and the Zong Massacre (the deliberate killing of enslaved Africans on a slave boat by drowning).

Photography

  • New advancements in photography allow artists to take photograms, daguerreotypes, and calotypes.
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-yWlLudyyWe4H.jpg?alt=media&token=8acd48cb-9a7c-47e9-9c07-ed738e484e23

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia. Liberty Leading the People.

Realism (1848-1860s)

Painting

  • Rejected the glorification of previous artistic movements and depicted real life situations like poverty and prostitution (as seen in the work below โฌ‡๏ธ)
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-KTLtmawnZaTZ.jpg?alt=media&token=5ffa4b73-d39b-417b-a329-28b68b790d6b

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia. Olympia.

Impressionism (1872-1880s)

Painting

  • Artists worked in plein-air (outside, which allowed them to see what things looked like depending on the amount of light โ˜€๏ธthroughout the day).
  • The forced opening of Japan inspired artists to incorporate concepts from their art and create a new style called Japonisme (an European artistic movement that infused traditional European art with aspects from Japanese works).
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-kY9V4W2LiOue.jpg?alt=media&token=5f399603-8cc3-47cf-a9c6-998b7f0e43aa

Image Courtesy of OHS APAH. The Saint-Lazare Station.

Post-Impressionism (1880s-1890s)

Painting

  • A bit more abstract than the art made during the Impressionist period, but still has conventional elements like perspective and solid forms
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-KqQn3bP9bccR.jpg?alt=media&token=1c10e1b7-08d2-459f-99dd-e52d245b2317

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia. Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?.

Symbolism (1890s)

Painting

  • Artists painted their dreams and feelings, rather than visible things like Realist artists ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-Zx0KKEjObqyV.jpg?alt=media&token=590e5322-235f-4fa3-9132-81da5e0bac18

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia. The Scream.

Art Nouveau (1890s-1914)

Painting

  • Utilized many media (materials) like oil paint and gold leaf (as seen in the work below โฌ‡๏ธ), rather than just using one
  • Artists prefer using curvilinear lines because they add an organic, flowing look to their works.
  • Designs are complex and elaborate (combine both geometric and organic shapes, many individual decorations, etc.).
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-Hd8PWbJIVhXs.jpg?alt=media&token=fa8a9a7e-bf9a-4ae3-abc2-dcccd7837425

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia. The Kiss.

The Prairie Style (1900-1930s)

Architecture

  • Believed that buildings should reflect the area where they are built and be in harmony with its location ๐Ÿก
  • Plans (structure of a building) are inspired by contemporary paintings and are made up mostly of geometric shapes like circles and squares
  • Use of cantilevers (beams that extend past a building) to add balconies to buildings and irregularity its overall shape (as seen below โฌ‡๏ธ)
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-01fv5OcjF3l1.jpg?alt=media&token=e801e148-f031-44be-8d0a-9a2a449085be

Image Courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Fallingwater.

Fauvism (1905-1908)

Painting

  • Used vivid, contrasting colors (as seen in the work below with the greens and oranges โฌ‡๏ธ)
  • Images that would normally be three-dimensional seem flat and unrealistic
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-baLwLRSy9hN1.jpg?alt=media&token=6f4a7c0f-9aa9-401e-951c-83c55c17ff48

Image Courtesy of henrimatisse. Goldfish.

Expressionism (1905-1930s)

Painting

  • Works are more abstract than they were in previous artistic movements
  • Like Fauvist painters, Expressionist ones also used contrasting colors in their works for a jarring effect ๐Ÿ˜จ
  • Depicted serious topics such as World War I and its effects (Self-Portrait as a Soldier), mental health issues (Self-Portrait as a Soldier), and assassinations (Memorial Sheet for Karl Liebknecht)
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-6ap9klOFOv87.jpg?alt=media&token=85802904-0a28-4da9-9fbb-df69d5ca92c2

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia. Self-Portrait as a Soldier

Cubism (1907-1930s)

Painting and Sculpture

  • Three different phases: Analytical (used sharp lines and rough, pointed edges), Synthetic (no depth, geometric shapes, collage-like in appearance), and Curvilinear (round edges)
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-wE738s22sHkQ.jpg?alt=media&token=beb9eef6-581f-46d4-af51-f9d60327ba95

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.

Constructivism (1914-1920s)

Photomontage

  • Instead of using traditional materials, Constructivists used pre-made media and put them together to create a brand new image called a photomontage (as seen below โฌ‡๏ธ)
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-YsKLJ03qSCaf.jpg?alt=media&token=778d75e0-6af9-4fde-8d4c-9f6c904a51ef

Image Courtesy of Khan Academy. The Results of the First Five-Year Plan.

Dada (1915-1922)

Sculpture

  • Artists did not use typical media like canvas and oil paint and instead opted to use ready-mades (typical everyday objects with a purpose that is not related to art) ๐Ÿšฝ
  • Words are used in Dada art often
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-OgqwOnXFNTSe.jpg?alt=media&token=3db4d11f-4a84-4754-bd2f-fd0679b95ec7

Image Courtesy of AP Art History. Fountain.

DeStijl (1917-1930s)

Painting

  • Extremely abstract and unlike previous artistic movements
  • Lines may only be perpendicular (meeting one another at a 90 degree angle โž•) and can't intersect diagonally, which makes the work look more simplistic and clean.
  • Only white, black, and the three primary colors (yellow, blue, and red) are allowed to be used in works.
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-0QTvk3dbIso3.jpg?alt=media&token=32854d1e-3a15-4ebc-a14d-af8604f5b69d

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia. Composition with Red, Blue, and Yellow.

The International Style (1920s-1930s)

Architecture

  • Both the Villa Savoye and Seagram Building have simplistic, geometrical designs ๐ŸŒ†
  • Use of ferroconcrete (concrete that is reinforced with steel) to give buildings more structure and reduce the chance of stress
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-wFbFuIcEUTSV.jpg?alt=media&token=49c17755-9c1e-4077-9265-143793ca80da

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia. Villa Savoye.

The Harlem Renaissance (1920s-1930s)

Painting

  • Most paintings from this artistic movement have themes like race, civil rights, and segregation (as indicated by the yellow separator in the painting below โฌ‡๏ธ)
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-vCuXWpbFSMw5.jpg?alt=media&token=f8a3bcd4-e933-4e1c-a2da-3634655fa318

Image Courtesy of Elam's Art/History. The Migration of the Negro.

Mexican Muralists (1920s-1930s)

Painting

  • Mexican muralists made their works using the fresco technique (painting on top of freshly applied lime plaster ๐ŸŽจ).
  • Most works have social, political, or cultural messages and picture Mexican figures from throughout history to show all the factors that have led Mexico to be the place it is today (historicism).
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-xdhwA6rnnMpy.jpg?alt=media&token=9862724c-d4e0-4d69-b1b0-d74a8f4ec69d

Image Courtesy of diegorivera. Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Central Park

Surrealism (1924-1930s)

Painting and Sculpture

  • The meaning of Surrealist works are not meant to be understood and should puzzle their viewers ๐Ÿค”
  • Movement was influenced by advancements made in the field of psychology by psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-6FsSSXfD5uul.jpg?alt=media&token=028d4b38-343b-400c-99b3-3d3f17e6564d

Image Courtesy of Khan Academy. The Two Fridas.

Abstract Expressionism/The New York School (1940s-1950s)

Painting

  • Abstract, but not minimalist like the works made by artists of the DeStijl movement
  • Action paintings (a type of abstract work where artists spill paint onto the canvas, rather than paint it on the traditional way) become popular.
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-1UyZTnClZ8ex.jpg?alt=media&token=d39c1476-9ed6-4953-9c45-e679deafd0af

Image Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art. Woman I.

Pop Art (1955-1970s)

Painting and Sculpture

  • Artists used materials that were either common or had a well-known purpose (for example, tanks were used during the Vietnam War era, which was at the same time as this movement).
  • Picture things associated with pop culture at the time, like Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn Diptych) and makeup ๐Ÿ’„, and anti-Vietnam War protests (Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks).
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-wzbyzomcxttK.jpg?alt=media&token=ee8cb7ac-5808-457c-9b68-b43fe0c8b60d

Image Courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery. Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks.

Color Field Painting (1960s)

Painting

  • Much more monochromatic (something using one color or multiple hues of the same color) and simple than works from previous artistic movements
  • Nature-like appearance without obviously being something in nature ๐ŸŒŠ
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-jjcybacadHjt.jpg?alt=media&token=fb4b96dc-b1e6-49a8-ae4c-984abc66a137

Image Courtesy of Khan Academy. The Bay.

Happenings (1960s)

Sculpture

  • Works are public and become more popular as people begin to get involved and participate in their growth
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-qUcqZW3fAX6r.jpg?alt=media&token=b136ff7c-8709-41d4-944b-f7023ce3d06f

Image Courtesy of AP Art History. Narcissus Garden.

Site Art (1970s-1990s)

Earthwork

  • Earthworks (outdoor works that are made from naturally-available materials from where it is made) that are usually temporary, but can remain in situ (permanently where it was originally made)
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-cnY8Lf7nadck.jpg?alt=media&token=2c93a85d-338f-4432-9f52-5aaaafe7afff

Image Courtesy of Dia Art Foundation. Spiral Jetty.

And now we're done with unit 4, the longest section in AP Art History! In the next unit, we'll be taking a deep look into the works of the Americas before European influence, but for now, give yourself a pat on the back for getting through this one. Be sure to go over what you just learned before moving on to unit 5. Happy studying, art historians ๐ŸŽจ!

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