An art movement is a style in art with explicit common philosophy which is adhered to by a group of artists during a restricted period of time or its heyday. Over the years, various art forms have been developed. Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Impressionism, Surrealism, cubism, Futurism, Post-Impressionism and Realism has been discussed here-in on a basis of characteristics, themes and examples of artwork.
Neoclassicism was an art and style developed during the late 1700’s in the French revolution. It has various visual characteristics: It is solidly modeled using strong direct lights and darks to show form, the compositions are rational in that they are balanced and orderly, presence of strong acidic colors, there are no marks left by the artist since brush strokes are carefully controlled to hide individual strokes and it stresses virtues of classical civilizations of the Greeks and Romans such as discipline, athleticism, education, and moral principles, honesty and charity. Angular and sculptural shapes are normally assigned to males while soft and curvilinear forms depict women. Neoclassical themes are normally centered on classical stories heroic acts and virtues carried out by males who are depicted as gallant and stoic. Felinity in women, on the other hand, is depicted and confined to the domestic and private realm. Neoclassicism is therefore depicted as masculine whereby the male body depicts topical issues on politics, society and sexual attributes. The Neoclassic painting of the famous violinist Paganini by Ingres shows this form perfectly. (Brumfield, 1991)
Romanticism was an art style during the mid 1800s that was a resultant of the revolt against Neoclassicism. The major characteristics of Romanticism are: It attempts to display ideal beauty through dramatic scenes, individual marks of the artist can be viewed, it is a form of art that is based on feelings basically of love rather than thoughts hence gets the viewer to experience strong emotions and it is based on an exotic subject matter. In its theme, it is normally based on atmospheric landscapes with a nostalgic depiction of the past especially the Gothic with a bias towards the primitive such as traditional folk culture, cult of individual heroic figures who are often revolutionaries in art or politics, mysticism, the cult of sensibility that emphasizes on women and children, passion for romance and a fascination with death. The romantic painting of Paganini by Turner attempts to show the feeling of his music through the emotional qualities of the man and physical traits of the composer. (Tekiner, 2000)
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