Art History

  • 30,000 BCE

    Prehistoric art

    Prehistoric art
    Cave paintings, shell jewelry, engraved stone
    30,000 BCE - 20,000 BCE
  • 5000 BCE

    Indigenous art

    Indigenous art
    Decorative and depictive carvings from the earliest periods have been found in the Lower Fraser region of British Columbia, and other pieces have been found in several parts of Canada. The development of Indigenous art in Canada is in many ways more complex than that of the relatively recent European settlers, and may be divided into three distinct periods: prehistoric art, contact or "historic" art, and contemporary Aboriginal art.
    5000 BCE - present
  • 2500 BCE

    Ancient art

    Ancient art
    Art of ancient civilizations such as China, Mesopotamia, Rome, Africa, Greece, etcetera. 2500 BCE - CE
  • Feb 11, 1000

    Medieval art

    Medieval art
    Includes Romanesque art, gothic art, Islamic art
    1000 CE
  • Feb 11, 1400

    Renaissance

    Renaissance
    A French word that means "rebirth," art changed from a way of depicting social status and religious scenes (Medieval) to more realistically represent the physical world.
  • Feb 11, 1520

    Mannerism

    Mannerism
    This new style became a distortion of the Renaissance perfection & an exaggeration of the previous movement's qualities.
  • Baroque

    Baroque
    After the idealism of the Renaissance and the forced nature of Mannerism, Baroque art intended to reflect the religious tensions of the time.
  • Rococo

    Rococo
    The style sought to renew art in a more florid and graceful way, using light colours, ornaments and gold to depict elegant and refined yet playful subjects.
  • Neoclassicism

    Neoclassicism
    In reaction to the excesses of Baroque and Rococo, the movement sought to return to the beauty and magnificence of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.
    1770-1830
  • Romanticism

    Romanticism
    Neoclassicism returned classical beauty and perfection of the ancient world while Romanticism revived medievalism: emphasis on emotion and imagination as well as the glorification of nature with its irrational forces. Reaction to Industrial Revolution/Enlightenment.
    1800-1880
  • Realism

    Realism
    Realism rejected the perfectionism of Neoclassicism and the emotionalism of Romanticism, portraying contemporary society and everyday life realistically, unpleasant aspects and all.
    1840-1880
  • Photography

    Photography
    Instead of merely capturing a realistic rendition of the subject, the photographer is aiming to produce a more personal - typically more evocative or atmospheric - impression.
    1851-present
  • Impressionism

    Impressionism
    Technology enabled Impressionism. Advances in paint portability allowed artists to take their canvases outside. Photography allowed artists to study movement and gestures to capture real-life spontaneity.
    1872-1892
  • Arts and Crafts

    Arts and Crafts
    A reaction against a decline in standards associated with machinery and factory production. Stood for traditional craftsmanship, simple forms in medieval, romantic, or folk style. Advocated economic and social reform and was essentially anti-industrial.
    1880-1910
  • Symbolism

    Symbolism
    While Impressionism emphasized the reality of the created paint surface itself, Symbolism was an artistic and a literary movement that suggested ideas through symbols and emphasized the meaning behind the forms, lines, shapes, and colors.
  • Post Impressionism

    Post Impressionism
    The Post-Impressionists rejected Impressionism's concern with the spontaneous and naturalistic rendering of light and color. Some believe this is when art became more a reflection of the artist's inner world/perspective than a rendering of the outer world.
    1880-1914
  • Fauvism

    Fauvism
    Henri Matisse rejected the traditional renditions of three-dimensional space promoted by the Impressionists and instead discovered a new way to portray it with image layers and colour movements.
    1899-1910
  • Art Deco

    Art Deco
    Art Deco works are symmetrical, geometric, streamlined, often simple, and pleasing to the eye. This style is in contrast to avant-garde art of the period, which challenged everyday viewers to find meaning and beauty in what were often unapologetically anti-traditional images and forms.
    1900-1945
  • Art Nouveau

    Art Nouveau
    Art Nouveau took inspiration from Japanese wood-block prints and the Arts and Crafts movement to modernize design. Artists drew inspiration from both organic and geometric forms, uniting flowing, natural forms resembling the stems and blossoms of plants. Muted greens, browns, yellows, and blues.
    1890-1905
  • German Expressionism

    German Expressionism
    In part a reaction against Impressionism and academic art, Expressionism was inspired most heavily by the Symbolist currents in late nineteenth-century art. Anxiety about humanity's increasingly discordant relationship with the world and accompanying lost feelings of authenticity and spirituality.
    1905-1933
  • Cubism

    Cubism
    By breaking objects and figures down into distinct areas or planes, the artists aimed to propose a revolutionary new approach to represent reality.
    1907-1922
  • Futurism

    Futurism
    Committed to the new, Futurists wished to destroy older forms of culture and to demonstrate the beauty of modern life - the beauty of the machine, speed, violence and change.
    1909-1928
  • Suprematism

    Suprematism
    The Suprematists' searched for the 'zero degree' of painting: the point beyond which the medium could not go without ceasing to be art. Very simple motifs articulating the shape and flat surface of the canvases on which they were painted.
    1913-1928
  • Constructivism

    Constructivism
    It borrowed ideas from Cubism, Suprematism and Futurism, but was a new approach to making objects, one which sought to abolish the traditional artistic concern with composition, and replace it with 'construction.'
    1915-1938
  • Dada

    Dada
    A reaction to World War I and nationalism. Influenced by other avant-garde movements - Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, and Expressionism - its output ranged from performance art to poetry, photography, sculpture, painting, and collage.
    1916-1924
  • Bauhaus

    Bauhaus
    Shaped by 19th and 20th centuries trends such as Arts and Crafts movement. This is reflected in the romantic medievalism of the school's early years. But in the mid 1920s the medievalism gave way to a stress on uniting art and industrial design, and it was this which ultimately proved to be its most original and important achievement.
    1919-1933
  • Harlem Renaissance

    Harlem Renaissance
    During the early 20th century, African-American poets, musicians, actors, artists and intellectuals moved to Harlem in New York City and brought new ideas that shifted the culture forever.
    1920-1930
  • Surrealism

    Surrealism
    Powerfully influenced by psychoanalysis, the Surrealists believed the rational mind repressed the power of the imagination, weighting it down with taboos.
    1924-1966
  • Social Realism

    Social Realism
    While there was a variety of styles and subjects within Social Realism, the artists were united in their attack on the status quo and social power structure. The artists were realists who focused on the human figure and human condition.
    1929-1958
  • Outsider Art

    Outsider Art
    Art made by people who weren’t working within the artistic establishment. For as long as their has been art there have been Outsider Artists.
  • Abstract Expressionism

    Abstract Expressionism
    Shaped by the legacy of Surrealism, a movement that they translated into a new style fitted to the post-war mood of anxiety and trauma.
    1943-1965
  • Fluxus

    Fluxus
    The persistent goal of most Fluxus artists was to destroy any boundary between art and life.
    1959-1978
  • Minimalism

    Minimalism
    The new art favored the cool over the "dramatic": their sculptures were frequently fabricated from industrial materials and emphasized anonymity over the expressive excess of Abstract Expressionism.
    1960-1970
  • Conceptual Art

    Conceptual Art
    Conceptualists claim the articulation of an artistic idea suffices as a work of art. This implied that concerns such as aesthetics, expression, skill and marketability were all irrelevant standards by which art was usually judged.
    1965-present
  • Postmodern Art

    Postmodern Art
    A style of post-1960s art which rejected the traditional values and politically conservative assumptions of its predecessors, in favour of a wider, more entertaining concept of art, using new artistic forms enriched by video and computer-based technology.
    1970-present
  • Pop Art

    Pop Art
    Pop art came from an outsider's perspective as it looked at the new visual imagery: everything from toasters to cars to beauty creams were placed on colorful pedestals in the glossy pages of magazines or touted on television in the hands of long legged beauty queens.
    1947-1969