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Art Movement Definition

The term “art movement” is something you will often hear in artistic circles. But it’s not always clear what makes or defines a movement. Some art movements describe a time period, while a style or common themes unite others. We’ll explore the definition of an art movement and how and when it should be used to describe artwork.

What Is an Art Movement?

An art movement is a tendency or a style of art with a particularly specified objective and philosophy that is adopted and followed by a group of artists during a specific period that may span from a few months to years or maybe even decades.

Additionally, It also refers to when a large number of artists that are alive at the same time collectively adopt a certain, uniquely distinguishable form or style of art that can be held apart from contemporary styles and methods. This method then becomes immensely popular and goes on to define an entire generation of artists.

How Did Art Movements Start?

The birth of art movements can be traced back to 19th century France. The 1840s and the industrial revolution rapidly changed the established art styles and methods, which had remained steadfast for centuries with little change.

Many factors impacted the rise of art movements as we knew them today. The newly invented but rapidly rising trends of photography, the increasing popularity of journalism, and its rebellious energy.

The changing political landscapes of Europe and the advent and subsequent boom of the anti-romantic movement in Germany were all at a high. These cultural forces culminated into the first known art movement, dubbed realism.

As cities grew more artists migrated to creative capitals and began to socialize and influence each other. This gathering of artists in the 19th century was heavily focused on Europe and concentrated particularly on Paris.

However, artists also clustered in German, Italian, Spanish and Russian cities. This led to the rise of artistic schools of thought, some of which, such as cubism, would turn into well-known art movements.

Over time the focus of art movements has moved from France and become less Europe-centric. Many artistic movements in the 20th century started in American cities, Britain, Japan, or other parts of the world.

What Was the Purpose of the Art Movement?

Artists in an art movement may be aware of certain aspects of the movement but remain unaware of the full picture of the movement. The lasting impact and influence of an art movement will be painted in the future by historians when looking back at the totality of the art movement.

In essence, art movements are to ensure that historians can conveniently group artists of a certain period and style.

What Are the Different Art Movements?

Though there are a vast number of art movements and even more sub-movements within each movement, the most influential and important movements of art include, but are not exclusive to:

What Is an Example of an Art Movement?

A good example of an art movement is Impressionism. Its origins are accredited to a group of European artists that were based in Paris. The group, which included Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, and more, gained popularity for their work between the 1870s and 1880s.

Impressionism is an art movement that is made unique by its relatively small and thin brush strokes. Other defining characteristics include open composition and emphasis on the accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities.

This emphasis on the accurate depiction of light is to depict the passage of time. The subject matter in impressionist art is ordinary. Movement is included as a crucial element of human perception. Impressionist art is known to be painted to depict images from unusual viewing angles.

A more recent example of an art movement is the graffiti art movement popularized by artist like Alec Monopoly . This is a global contemporary art movement that is acknowledged as an art movement while it is still active and contemporary.

Why Are Art Movements Important?

Art movements are often used as pinpoints of history that tell the story of the cultural zeitgeist of an era. Art movements can paint a picture of history, technological advances, and political and social movements. The art movements of the late 19th and 20th centuries, in particular, illustrate the extreme changes in the world before and after the world wars as technology rapidly advanced, and the world became increasingly global.

At a personal level, an art movement is important for the artist themselves. Art movements (whether recognized at the moment as a movement or not) provide artists with new methods and styles that they can put their unique spin on, not only improving an artist’s catalog but keeping that style of art alive at the same time.

How Can an Art Movement Affect a Person?

An art movement can deeply affect an artist and their audiences. Whether they are an artist that is experiencing the movement in real-time and is having their art influenced by it, or whether they are a viewer perceiving the world through the eyes of the artist. Art movements not only help us appreciate a specific kind of art but also help us look at the world in a different light and from a different perspective.

Enjoying Art of a Specific Movement

Many collectors enjoy a particular movement because they like the style or ethos behind the work. You can explore original artworks from contemporary art movements at Ramon Art Online Gallery.



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