Since the beginning of civilization, man and art have never been separated. Over the millennia, the world has seen a plethora of beautiful art movements led by great artists. Today, in the 21st century, we can appreciate different styles of art, painting in particular, ranging from western style to oriental style. Here are some of the main styles of fine art painting throughout history.
Realism as an art movement first emerged in France in the 1840s, around the infamous Revolution of 1848. It was a direct response to the Romanticism that dominated Europe in the early 19th century. As a style of fine art painting, rather than scrupulous attention to visual appearances, realism is defined by the choice and treatment of subject matter. It is an attempt to visually represent the subject and all its mundane merits.
Realism deviates from any artistic approach that gives the painting an artificial appearance. He uses perspective to create a visual illusion of space and depth in a way that makes the subject look real. Likewise, the subjects of realistic paintings are mostly ordinary people who engage in daily activities in an undramatic environment. The style is clearly found in the works of Gustave Courbet, Honoré Daumier, Jean-François Millet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.
The painterly style emerged in Europe at the end of the 19th century as the Industrial Revolution swept across the continent. The fine art painting style emphasizes the character of brushwork and pigments. Painters do not try to disguise what they are using to create the painting by smoothing out the texture or marks left by brushes or any other tool in the painting. The works of Henri Matisse and Eugénie Baizerman are some of the great examples of the style.
When the art critic Louis Leroy writes the article The Impressionist Exhibition as a satirical criticism of Claude Monet Print, rising sun (1872) for a Parisian newspaper The Charivari, he did not realize that he was subsequently naming an artistic movement, that is, radical. Monet’s oil-on-canvas work involves the propensity for colors freely brushed over lines and contours, which Leroy rendered as “a sketch at most”.
The technique, considered radical at the time, was a pastiche of the works of the Romantic painters JMW Turner and Eugène Delacroix, notably Turner’s The Bold Fighter (1839), which influenced the appearance of the style. Impressionism is also an antithesis of the Academic style, where still lifes and portraits, including landscapes, were often painted in the studio.
With Impressionism, artists worked outside, where they captured the transient and momentary effects of sunlight while painting outdoors. The Impressionists tried to depict overall visual effects rather than details. To achieve an intense color vibration effect, they used short “waved” brushwork of mixed and pure unmixed colors.
Much like Impressionism, the term Fauvism was coined by coincidence by an art critic to describe a painting in a rather derogatory way. It was Louis Vauxcelles who first voiced this remark after seeing surprisingly bold and luminous paintings hemming a Renaissance work of art in Parisian Autumn Fair in 1905, to which he sarcastically commented, “Donatello in the middle of the beasts!”.
The fine art painting style is particularly associated with Henri Matisse as its figurehead. Les Fauves believed that colors and physical reality should be detached from each other. They wanted to freely incorporate colors regardless of their descriptive qualities as a form of artistic freedom. For the Fauves, the colors should express the feelings of the artists, hence the experience of using intense colors, especially red, rejecting the soft representation of colors in Impressionist works. At the same time, they redefined the traditional purpose of color by becoming a dominant force in their paintings, in which they also simplified two-dimensional forms.
However, the Fauvist movement wasn’t exactly organized, so it didn’t age very well. Fauvism finally disintegrated in 1908.
A style of fine art painting intended to express emotions, Expressionism and Fauvism are somewhat similar. But unlike Fauvism, Expressionism did not focus on colors, the use of which Fauvism is known to emphasize unrealisticly.
The hyperbolic flow of human emotions, the distortion and pleonastic representation of places, people and objects, shapes and vague forms; these are the distinctive characteristics of expressionism. One of the best examples is the very popular The Scream (1893) by Edvard Munch. Original title The Schrei der Naturpainting was his way of conveying the grotesque and horror of everyday life with hyper-stylized brushstrokes and gruesome illustrations.
Cubism as an art movement launched in 1907 by artists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, later joined by Albert Gleizes, Henry Le Fauconnier and Fernand Léger. The work that profoundly influenced Cubism is that of Paul Cézanne. Cubist artists analyze, break down and then reassemble objects in an abstract form. As a style of artistic painting, Cubism is a visual language in which geometric planes challenge the conventional representation of objects from a multitude of viewpoints as opposed to a single perspective to represent the object in a larger context. . Cubist artists reinvented traditional subjects such as landscapes and nudes as fragmented two-dimensional compositions, as Cézanne once said, “everything in nature takes its form from the cylinder, the cone or the sphere “.
Abstract art is not a style of artistic painting per se, as it is embodied in multiple styles where the accurate representation of visual reality is not the goal. An abstract art can be a total or partial abstraction. The Geometric and Lyrical Abstraction style is generally total abstraction, which is almost mutually exclusive with the figurative style of art found in Realism, Renaissance, Mannerism, and Baroque. Nevertheless, figurative art, or figurative art, often incorporates partial abstraction, as shown in Jay Meuser’s Untitled Landscape, which reflects Abstract Expressionism.
Abstract expressionism itself is a new form of abstract art introduced by American painters such as Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock after World War II, while “pure” abstract painting was pioneered by Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian circa 1910-20. . Abstract Expressionism, characterized by mark-making and a sense of spontaneity, was further divided into two groups: action painting and color field painting. Action painting, led by Pollock and De Kooning, involves the impromptu application of vigorous, rapid brushstrokes and the appearance of spilling paint onto the canvas. Rothko, along with Barnett Newman and Clyfford Still, spearheaded the color field style of painting which is characterized by large areas of one or more flat colors.
As an art movement, surrealism began to flourish in Europe in the aftermath of World War I. Founded in 1924 by the Parisian poet André Breton, it was strongly influenced by Dadaism. It aimed to liberate human thought, language and experience beyond the boundaries of reality and rationalism.
Surrealist artists painted illogical juxtapositions of imagery into daunting scenes, creating bizarre and bewildering creatures out of everyday objects. Unconscious minds and dreams are highly valued and favored in surrealism. After all, the definition of surrealism, as Breton once stated in his Manifesto of Surrealism, is “the dictation of thought in the absence of any control exercised by reason, apart from all aesthetic and moral concern”. .
One of the most important oriental art painting styles is probably traditional Chinese painting. He was so prominent that he had notable influences on Western art painting styles as well as Japanese painting and, to some extent, Korean painting.
There are two styles in Chinese painting: Gongbi (工筆) and Xieyi (寫意). gongbiwhich means “meticulous”, exhibits the use of rich colors and detail involving detailed brushstrokes that reduce detail very precisely and depict mostly portraits or narratives. Xieyior freehand style, often contains embellished and unreal forms, emphasizing the emotional expression of the artist, and is mainly used in landscape painting, which until now is still considered the most height of Chinese painting.