The Flow of Art Movements

Much like history, music, and entertainment, art movements are titles that connect certain types of artwork to one another for historians. If various artists and popular artworks had similar styles or followed certain trends from one time period to the next, then they are grouped together.

This is mostly done by historians who want to showcase the change in art styles from one realm to the next, and are often named based on the prevailing style of the time. I learned all that in art class and thought it was okay, but when I looked into how many art styles there were/are in the world now, I grew even more thoughtful.


Naturalism in the art world was popularized by the trends of lifelike sculpting of characters through paint. Characters looked like human beings and were given a great layer of detail to show off a range of emotions through eye contact, facial expression, and gestures.

The purpose of this art is to tell a story and give depth to a painting. This art also focused on the human body, with nudes being painted to show off the beauty of the human form, and oil paint being invented to further deepen the colors and details in the painting


Impressionism was mostly about analyzing the effects of color on a painting, and how color was perceived in nature. Most painters wanted to understand a specific kind of weather pattern’s effect on the environment, which meant painting quickly while the effect was still around.

This was trading color for detail, but the public still enjoyed the colors and energetic painting especially when the Impressionist broke more rules and removed the middle focal point, allowing the sides and edges to be just as interesting as the middle


This art style was something that I hadn’t heard of, but it has a rich and deep history about it. It was an anti-establishment anarchy type of artwork that embraced every asset of society and was mostly done by German artists who fled Germany during World War 1.

These refugees became antiwar as a result of the carnage. They attacked the corrupt elite of both sides, any attitude that refused to oppose the war, and even the art world itself, and after the war, it became far more political.

The art showed the struggles of a post-war Germany using montages of newspaper texts and magazines and then mocked the government for its own role in the problems


I discovered that the history behind the names of art movements is often more interesting than the art itself (I’m a history lover before an art lover) and by being able to understand the historical significance of the artwork’s origins, I’m able to paint my own picture of what being an artist is like.

By understanding why the historical timelines work the way they do, it helps me understand the transitions, not just how they occurred but also why they occur.

Related Posts

How I Became an Artist

I’ve always had a love for artwork since I was little, and when I got old enough to decide what

The Strange and Complex Relationship Between the Artist and the Gallery

For a few, the art gallery business is immensely lucrative. Here’s how it works, the super-rich invest in artworks which

Price fixing, glamour and vast amounts of money

The art world doesn’t work the way people think it does. In the contemporary art world most of us would

There a big disconnect here and it doesn’t smell good

In 2015 Les Femmes d’Alger set a record, selling at auction for $179.4 million. If you don’t know it or