Art Movements

Timeline   Alphabetical

 Pre-Renaissance

Gothic: 5th Century to 16th Century A.D.
Gothic Art is the style of art produced in Northern Europe from the middle ages up until the beginning of the Renaissance. Typically rooted in religious devotion, it is especially known for the distinctive arched design of its churches, its stained glass, and its illuminated manuscripts. In the late 14th century, anticipating the Renaissance, Gothic Art developed into a more secular style known as International Gothic. One of the great artists of this period is Simone Martini. Although superseded by Renaissance art, there was a Gothic Revival in the 18th and 19th centuries, largely rooted in nostalgia and romanticism.

Byzantine: 5th Century A.C. to 1453
Byzantine art is the art of the Byzantine Empire, centered in Constantinople (now Istanbul). Byzantine art was completely focused on the needs of the Orthodox church, in the painting of icons and the decoration of churches with frescoes and mosaics. The Byzantine style basically ended with the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, during the European Renaissance. However, its influence continued for a considerable time in Russia and elsewhere where the Orthodox church held sway.

The Renaissance

Early Renaissance: Italy, 15th Century
The Renaissance was a period of great creative and intellectual activity, during which artists broke away from the restrictions of Byzantine Art. Throughout the 15th century, artists studied the natural world in order to perfect their understanding of such subjects as anatomy and perspective. Among the many great artists of this period were Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Paolo Uccello and Piero della Francesca. During this period there was a related advancement of Gothic Art centered in Germany and the Netherlands, known as the Northern Renaissance. The Early Renaissance was succeeded by the mature High Renaissance period, which began circa 1500.

High Renaissance: Italy, Early 16th Century
The High Renaissance was the culmination of the artistic developments of the Early Renaissance, and one of the great explosions of creative genius in history. It is notable for three of the greatest artists in history: Michelangelo Buonarroti, Raphael Sanzio and Leonardo da Vinci. Also active at this time were such masters as Giorgione, Titian and Giovanni Bellini. By about the 1520s, High Renaissance art had become exaggerated into the style known as Mannerism.

Northern Renaissance: Germany and Netherlands, 15th to 16th Centuries
The northern European tradition of Gothic Art was greatly affected by the technical and philosophical advancements of the Renaissance in Italy. While less concerned with studies of anatomy and linear perspective, northern artists were masters of technique, and their works are marvels of exquisite detail. The great artists who inspired the Northern Renaissance included Jan van Eyck (and his brother Hubert, about whom little is known), Robert Campin and Rogier van der Weyden. As Italy moved into the High Renaissance, the north retained a distinct Gothic influence. Yet masters like Albrecht Dürer, Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel and Hans Holbein were the equal of the greatest artists of the south. In the 16th century, as in the south, the Northern Renaissance eventually gave way to highly stylized Mannerist art.

Mannerism: Europe, Mid to Late 16th Century
Mannerism, the artistic style which gained popularity in the period following the High Renaissance, takes as its ideals the work of Raphael and Michelangelo Buonarroti. It is considered to be a period of technical accomplishment but also of formulaic, theatrical and overly stylized work. Mannerist Art is characterized by a complex composition, with muscular and elongated figures in complex poses. Discussing Michelangelo in his journal, Eugène Delacroix gives as good a description as any of the limitations of Mannerism:
"[A]ll that he has painted is muscles and poses, in which even science, contrary to general opinion, is by no means the dominant factor... He did not know a single one of the feelings of man, not one of his passions. When he was making an arm or a leg, it seems as if he were thinking only of that arm or leg and was not giving the slightest consideration to the way it relates with the action of the figure to which it belongs, much less to the action of the picture as a whole... Therein lies his great merit; he brings a sense of the grand and the terrible into even an isolated limb."
In addition to Michelangelo, leading Mannerist artists included Rosso Fiorentino, Pontormo, and Parmigianino. By the late 16th century, there were several anti-Mannerist attempts to reinvigorate art with greater naturalism and emotionalism. These developed into the Baroque style, which dominated the 17th century.

17th Century

Baroque Art: Europe, 17th Century
Baroque Art developed in Europe around 1600, as an reaction against the intricate and formulaic Mannerism that dominated the Late Renaissance. Baroque art is less complex, more realistic and more emotionally affecting than Mannerist art. This movement was encouraged by the Catholic Church, the most important patron of the arts at that time, being seen as a return to tradition and spirituality. One of the great periods of art history, Baroque Art was developed by Caravaggio,Gianlorenzo Bernini and Annibale Carracci, among others. This was also the age of Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Velázquez. In the 18th century, Baroque Art was replaced by the more elegant and elaborate Rococo art style.

18th Century

Rococo: Europe, 1715 to 1774
Rococo Art succeeded Baroque Art in Europe. It was most popular in France, and is generally associated with the reign of King Louis XV (1715-1774). It is a light, elaborate and decorative style of art. Quintessentially Rococo artists include Jean-Honore Fragonard, François Boucher, Jean-Antoine Watteau and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Rococo was eventually replaced by Neoclassicism, which was the signature visual style of Napoleon in France and of the American revolution.

Neoclassicism: Mid-18th to Early-19th Century
Neoclassical Art is a severe and unemotional form of art harkening back to the grandeur of ancient Greece and Rome. Its rigidity was a reaction to the overbred Rococo style and the emotional charged Baroque style. The rise of Neoclassical Art was part of a general revival of interest in classical thought, which was of some importance in the American and French revolutions. Important Neoclassicists include the architects Robert Smirke and Robert Adam, the sculptors Antonio Canova,Jean-Antoine Houdon and Bertel Thorvaldsen, and painters J.A.D. Ingres, Jacques-Louis David and Anton Raphael Mengs. Around 1800, Romanticism emerged as a reaction against Neoclassicism. It did not really replace the Neoclassical style so much as act as a counterbalancing influence, and many artists were influenced by both styles to a certain degree. Neoclassical Art was also a primary influence on 19th-century Academic Art

Academic Art:
Academic Art is the painting and sculpture produced under the influence of the Academies in Europe and especially France, where many artists received their formal training. It is characterized by its highly polished style, its use of mythological or historical subject matter, and its moralistic tone. Neoclassical Art was also closely associated with the Academies. The term "Academic Art" is associated particularly with the French Academy and the 19th century salons at which art was submitted for display and prizes were awarded. Artists such as Jean-Leon Gerome and Bouguereau epitomize this style.

Japanese Ukiyo-e: Japan, Edo Period (1600s to 1867)
Ukiyo-e (pronounced oo-kee-oh-ay) was a popular form of printed art in Japan during the Edo period, inexpensive and usually depicting scenes from everyday life. Ukiyo translates as "the floating world" - an ironic wordplay on the Buddhist name for the earthly plane, "the sorrowful world". Ukiyo was the name given to the lifestyle in Japan's urban centers of this period - the fashions, the entertainments, and the pleasures of the flesh. Ukiyo-e is the art documenting this era. Ukiyo-e is especially known for its exceptional woodblock prints. After Japan opened trade with the West after 1867, these prints became very well-known and influential in Europea, especially in France. Japonisme influenced such artists as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Whistler and the graphic artists known as Les Nabis. The founder of the Ukiyo-e school was the 17th-century artist Hishikawa Moronobu. Among the many famous artists who followed were Ando Hiroshige, Hokusai Katsukika, Kitagawa Utamaro and Toshusai Sharaku.

19th Century

Romanticism: late 18th to Mid 19th Century
Romanticism might best be described as anticlassicism. A reaction against Neoclassicism, it is a deeply-felt style which is individualistic, exotic, beautiful and emotionally wrought. Although Romanticism and Neoclassicism were philosophically opposed, they were the dominant European styles for generations, and many artists were affected to a lesser or greater degree by both. Artists might work in both styles at different times or even combine elements, creating an intellectually Romantic work using a Neoclassical visual style, for example. Great artists closely associated with Romanticism include Caspar David Friedrich, John Constable, J.M.W. Turner and William Blake. In the North America, the leading Romantic movement was the Hudson River School of dramatic landscape painting. Obvious successors of Romanticism include the Pre-Raphaelite movement and the Symbolist painters. But Impressionism, and through it almost all of 20th century art, is also firmly rooted in the individualism of the Romantic tradition.

The Hudson River School: US, 1835-1870
The Hudson River School encompasses two generations of painters inspired by Thomas Cole's, awesomely Romantic images of America's wilderness - in the Hudson River Valley and also in the newly opened West. The particular use of light effects, to lend an exaggerated drama to such elements as mist and sunsets, developed into a subspecialty known as Luminism. In addition to Thomas Cole, the best-known practioners of this style were Frederic Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt.

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: Britain, 1848 to Late 19th Century
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was created in 1848 by seven artists: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, John Everett Millais, Frederic George Stephens, Thomas Woolner and William Holman Hunt. Their goal was to develop a naturalistic style of art, throwing away the rules and conventions that were drilled into students' heads at the Academies. Raphael was the artist they considered to have achieved the highest degree of perfection, so much so that students were encouraged to draw from his examples rather than from nature itself; thus they became the "Pre-Raphaelites". The group popularized a theatrically romantic style, marked by great beauty, an intricate realism, and a fondness for Arthurian and Greek legend. The movement itself did not last past the 1850s, but the style remained popular for decades, influencing the Arts and Crafts Movement, the Symbolist painters, and even the Classicists.

Victorian Classicism: Britain, Mid to late 19th Century
Victorian Classicism was a British form of historical painting inspired by the art and architecture of Classical Greece and Rome. In the 19th century, an increasing number of Western Europeans made the "Grand Tour" to Mediterranean lands. There was a great popular interest in the region's lost civilizations and exotic cultures, and this interest fuelled the rise of Classicism in Britain, and Orientalism, which was mostly centered in continental Europe. The Classicists were closely associated with the Pre-Raphaelites, many artists being influenced by both styles to some degree. Both movements were highly romantic and were inspired by similar historical and mythological themes -- the key distinction being that the Classicists epitomized the rigid Academic standards of painting, while the Pre-Raphaelites were initially formed as a rebellion against those same standards. Frederick Leighton and Lawrence Alma-Tadema were the leading Classicists, and in their lifetimes were considered by many to be the finest painters of their generation.
 
Arts and Crafts: Britain, Late 19th Century
The Arts and Crafts Movement was a celebration of individual design and craftsmanship, developing as a reaction against transformation of Britain due to the industrial revolution. William Morris, who spearheaded the movement, is particularly remembered as a book designer. He also produced stained glass, textiles and wallpaper, in addition to being a painter and writer. The movement was closely tied to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, among others, produced designs for Morris' company.

Symbolism: Late 19th Century
Symbolism is a 19th-century movement in which art became infused with exaggerated sensitivity and a spooky mysticism. It was a continuation of the Romantic tradition, which included such artists as John Henry Fuseli and Caspar David Friedrich. Anticipating Freud and Jung, the Symbolists mined mythology and dream imagery for a visual language of the soul. More a philosophical approach than an actual style of art, they influenced their contemporaries in the Art Nouveau movement and Les Nabis. The leading Symbolists included Gustave Moreau, Puvis de Chavannes, and Odilon Redon. The movement was also a major influence on some of the Expressionists, especially on the work of Franz von Stuck and Edvard Munch.

Realism: Mid-19th Century
Realism is an approach to art in which subjects are depicted in as straightforward a manner as possible, without idealizing them and without following rules of formal artistic theory. The earliest Realist work began to appear in the 18th century, in a reaction to the excesses of Romanticism and Neoclassicism. This is evident in John Singleton Copley's paintings, and some of the works of Goya. But the great Realist era was the middle of the 19th century, as artists became disillusioned with the artifice of the Salons and the influence of the Academies. Realism came closest to being an organized movement in France, inspiring artists such as Camille Corot, Jean-Francois Millet and the Barbizon School of landscape painters. Besides Copley, American Realists included the painters Thomas Eakins, and Henry Ossawa Tanner, both of whom studied in France. French Realism was a guiding influence on the philosophy of the Impressionists. The Ashcan School artists, the American Scene painters, and, much later, on the Contemporary Realists are all following the American Realist tradition.

Barbizon: France, Mid-19th Century
The Barbizon School was a group of landscape artists working in the area of the French town of Barbizon, south of Paris. They rejected the Academic tradition, abandoning theory in an attempt to achieve a truer representation of life in the countryside, and are part of the French Realist movement. Theodore Rousseau (not to be confused with naive artist Henri Rousseau) is the best-known member of the group. Other prominent members included Constant Troyon and Charles-Francois Daubigny. Realist painters Jean-Francois Millet and Camille Corot are also sometimes loosely associated with this school. The Barbizon School artists are often considered to have sown the seeds of Modernism with their individualism, and were the forerunners of the Impressionists, who took a similar philosophical approach to their art.

Impressionism: France, 1860s to 1880s
Impressionism is a light, spontaneous manner of painting which began in France as a reaction against the restrictions and conventions of the dominant Academic art. Its naturalistic and down-to-earth treatment of its subject matter, most commonly landscapes, has its roots in the French Realism of Camille Corot and others. The movement's name was derived from Monet's early work, Impression: Sunrise, which was singled out for criticism by Louis Leroy upon its exhibition. The hallmark of the style is the attempt to capture the subjective impression of light in a scene. The core of the earliest Impressionist group was made up of Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Others associated with this period were Camille Pissarro, Frederic Bazille, Edgar Degas, Gustave Caillebotte, Edouard Manet, and the American Mary Cassatt. The Impressionist style was probably the single most successful and identifiable "movement" ever, and is still widely practiced today. But as an intellectual school it faded towards the end of the 19th century, branching out into a variety of successive movements which are generally grouped under the term Post-Impressionism.

Tonalism: US, 1880 to 1910
Tonalism is a style of painting in which landscapes are depicted in soft light and shadows, often as if through a colored or misty veil. Imported to the U.S. by American painters inspired by Barbizon School landscapes, it was a forerunner to the many schools and colonies of American Impressionism which arose in the first part of the 20th century. The most influential practitioners of the style were George Inness, whose roots were in landscape painting, and James McNeill Whistler, whose approach was primarily aesthetic, aiming for elegance and harmony in the colors of a painting. Tonalism's soft-edged realism also had an influence on the photography of the early 20th century - specifically on Alfred Stieglitz and his circle.

Post-Impressionism: France, 1880s to 1900
Post-Impressionism is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of artists who were influenced by Impressionism but took their art in other directions. There is no single well-defined style of Post-Impressionism, but in general it is less idyllic and more emotionally charged than Impressionist work. The classic Post-Impressionists are Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Rousseau and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The Pointillists and Les Nabis are also generally included among the Post-Impressionists.

Les Nabis: 1891 to 1899
Les Nabis were a group of Post-Impressionist artists and illustrators in Paris who became very influential in the field of graphic art. Their emphasis on design was shared by the parallel Art Nouveau movement. Both groups also had close ties to the Symbolist painters. The core of Les Nabis was Pierre Bonnard, Ker Xavier Roussel, Felix Vallotton, Maurice Denis and Edouard Vuillard.

Pointillism: France, 1880s
Pointillism is a form of painting in which tiny dots of primary-colors are used to generate secondary colors. It is an offshoot of Impressionism, and is usually categorized as a form of Post-Impressionism. It is very similar to Divisionism, except that where Divisionism is concerned with color theory, Pointillism is more focused on the specific style of brushwork used to apply the paint. The term "Pointillism" was first used with respect to the work of Georges Seurat, and he is the artist most closely associated with the movement. The relatively few artists who worked in this style also included Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross. Pointillism is considered to have been an influence on Fauvism.

Fauvism: 1898 to 1908
Fauvism grew out of Pointillism and Post-Impressionism, but is characterized by a more primitive and less naturalistic form of expression. Paul Gauguin's style and his use of color were especially strong influences. The artists most closely associated with Fauvism are Albert Marquet, Andre Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck and Henri Matisse. Fauvism was a short-lived movement, but was a substantial influence on some of the Expressionists.

Art Nouveau: Late 19th to Early 20th Century
Art Nouveau is an elegant decorative art style characterized by intricate patterns of curving lines. Its origins somewhat rooted in the British Arts and Crafts Movement of William Morris, Art Nouveau was popular across Europe and in the United States as well. Leading practitioners included Alphonse Mucha, Aubrey Beardsley, Gustav Klimt and the American glassmaker Louis Comfort Tiffany. Art Nouveau remained popular until around the time of World War I, and was ultimately replaced by the Art Deco style.

20th Century - Realism Reinvented

Ashcan School: New York city, 1908 to 1913
The Ashcan School was a small group of artists who sought to document everyday life in turn-of-the-century New York City, capturing it in realistic and unglamorized paintings and etchings of urban street scenes. It largely consisted of Robert Henri and his circle. Henri, an influential teacher, was an admirer of the unpretentious and masculine realism of Thomas Eakins and Thomas Anshutz. In addition to Henri, the Ashcan School consisted of George Wesley Bellows, William Glackens, Everett Shinn, George Luks and John Sloan. The spirit of the Ashcan School was continued in the American Scene Painting of the 1920's and 1930's.

Camden Town Group: London, 1911 to 1912
The Camden Town Group was a group of artists inspired by the dark and impressionistic paintings and engravings of Walter Sickert's, who worked in this working-class section of London. The group held three exhibitions at Carfax Gallery in 1911 and 1912. The shows were a failure in financial terms, and the member artists eventually merged with several other small groups to form the London Group.

American Scene: US, 1931 to 1940
American Scene Painting is a general term encompassing the mainstream realist and antimodernist style of painting popular in the United States during the Great Depression. A reaction against the European Modernism, it was seen as an attempt to define a uniquely American style of art. The American Scene basically consisted of two main schools, the rurally-oriented Regionalism, and the urban and political Social Realism. A few artists escaped being closely associated with either the Regionalist or Social Realist camps, including Charles Burchfield and Edward Hopper

American Regionalism: 1930s
An American term, Regionalism refers to the work of a number of rural artists, mostly from the Midwest, who came to prominance in the 1930s. Not being part of a coordinated movement, Regionalist artists often had an idiosyncratic style or point of view. What they shared, among themselves and among other American Scene painters, was a humble, anti-modernist style and a desire to depict everyday life. However their rural conservatism tended to put them at odds with the urban and leftist Social Realists of the same era. The three best-known regionalists were John Stuart Curry, Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, the painter of the best-known and one of the greatest works of American art, American Gothic.

Social Realism:  US, 1930s
Social Realism is a naturalistic realism focusing specifically on social issues and the hardships of everyday life. The term usually refers to the urban American Scene artists of the Depression era, who were greatly influenced by the Ashcan School of early 20th century New York. Social Realism is somewhat of a pejorative label in the United States, where overtly political art, not to mention socialist politics, are extremely out of favor. Ben Shahn, Jack Levine and Jacob Lawrence are the best-known American Social Realists.

The Canadian Group of Seven: Canada, 1920 to 1960s
The Group of Seven were Canadian landscape artists inspired by the wilderness paintings of Tom Thomson, who died under mysterious circumstances while on a trek in Ontario's Algonquin Park in 1917 (his body was found floating in Canoe Lake, but an autopsy showed an injury to the head and no evidence of water in his lungs). The artsts of the Group of Seven were strongly influenced by Post-Impressionism, creating bold, vividly-colored canvases, and infusing elements of the landscape with symbolic meaning. The group was not limited to the seven founding members, and they eventually changed their name to the Canadian Group of Painters. Besides Thomson, the group included Franklin Carmichael, A.J. Casson, Lionel Fitzgerald, Arthur Lismer, Lawren Harris, Edwin Holgate, A.Y. Jackson, J.E.H. MacDonald, F.H. Varley. West Coast painter Emily Carr was inspired by the group early in her career.

Magic Realism: 1943 to 1950s
Magic Realism is an American style of art with Surrealist overtones. The art is anchored in everyday reality, but has overtones of fantasy or wonder. The term was later also applied to the literary works of authors such as Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel García Márquez. Artists most commonly associated with the style are Paul Cadmus, Ivan Albright, Philip Evergood, and George Tooker. Andrew Wyeth is sometimes associated with this group, due to the vaguely mysterious nature of his landscapes and portraits.

Contemporary Realism: US, Began in the Late 1960s to Early 1970s
Contemporary Realism is the straightforward realistic approach to representation which continues to be widely practiced in this post-abstract era. It is different from Photorealism, which is somewhat exaggerated and ironic and conceptual in its nature. Contemporary Realists form a disparate group, but what they share is that they are literate in the concepts of Modern Art but choose to work in a more traditional form. Many Contemporary Realists actually began as abstract painters, having come through an educational system dominated by an professors and theorists dismissive of representational painting. Among the best-known artists associated with this movement are William Bailey, Neil Welliver and Philip Pearlstein. There is an identifiable "group" of Contemporary Realists, but we have used a fairly loose definition to allow inclusion of a larger number of 20th-century realists.

20th Century - Modernism

Expressionism: Germany, 1905 to 1940s
Expressionism is a style in which the intention is not to reproduce a subject accurately, but instead to portray it in such a way as to express the inner state of the artist. The movement is especially associated with Germany, and was influenced by such emotionally-charged styles as Symbolism, Fauvism, and Cubism. There are several different and somewhat overlapping groups of Expressionist artists, including Der Blaue Reiter ("The Blue Rider"), Die Brücke ("The Bridge"), Die Neue Sachlichkeit ("The New Objectivity") and the Bauhaus School. Leading Expressionists included Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, George Grosz and Amadeo Modigliani. In the mid-20th century, Abstract Expressionism (in which there is no subject at all, but instead pure abstract form) developed into an extremely influential style in the United States.

Bauhaus: Germany, 1919 to 1933
The Bauhaus School is a school of design founded in Weimar, Germany in 1919 by Walter Gropius. Its signature modernist style, integrating Expressionist art with the fields of architecture and design, was enormously influential throughout the world. The school was later led by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Its faculty included such artists as Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Oskar Schlemmer , Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Johannes Itten, Josef Albers and Anni Albers. Other artists associated with the Bauhaus include Gunta Stolzl, Lux Feininger, Wilhelm Wagenfeld and George Grosz. The school was closed by the Nazis in 1933, and many of the artists emigrated to the United States in the years leading up to World War II, in search of intellectual freedom.

Cubism: Europe, 1908 to 1920
Cubism was developed between about 1908 and 1912 in a collaboration between Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. Their main influences are said to have been Tribal Art (although Braque later disputed this) and the work of Paul Cezanne. The movement itself was not long-lived or widespread, but it began an immense creative explosion which resonated through all of 20th century art. The key concept underlying Cubism is that the essence of an object can only be captured by showing it from multiple points of view simultaneously. Cubism had run its course by the end of World War I, but among the movements directly influenced by it were Orphism, Precisionism, Futurism, Purism, Constructivism, and, to some degree, Expressionism.

Dada: Europe, 1916 to 1924
Dada was a protest by a group of European artists against World War I, bourgeois society, and the conservativism of traditional thought. Its followers used absurdities and non sequiturs to create artworks and performances which defied any intellectual analysis. They also included random "found" objects in sculptures and installations. The founders included the French artist Jean Arp and the writers Hugo Ball and Tristan Tzara. Francis Picabia and Marcel Duchamp were also key contributors. The Dada movement evolved into Surrealism in the 1920's.

Futurism: Italy, 1909 to 1914
Futurism was a modernist movement based in Italy celebrating the technological era. It was largely inspired by the development of Cubism. The core preoccupations of Futurist thought and art were machines and motion. Futurism was founded in 1909 by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, along with painters Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Carlo Carrà, and Gino Severini.

Neo-Platicism: Holland, 1920 to 1940
Neo-Plasticism is a Dutch movement founded (and named) by Piet Mondrian. It is a rigid form of Abstraction, whose rules allow only for a canvas subsected into rectangles by horizontal and vertical lines, and colored using a very limited palette. Neo-Plasticism was somewhat influential on Russian Constructivism.

Surrealism: Europe, 1924 to 1950s
Surrealism is a style in which fantastical visual imagery from the subconscious mind is used with no intention of making the work logically comprehensible. Founded by Andre Breton in 1924, it was a primarily European movement that attracted many members of the chaotic Dada movement. It was similar in some elements to the mystical 19th-century Symbolist movement, but was deeply influenced by the psychoanalytic work of Freud and Jung. The Surrealist circle was made up of many of the great artists of the 20th century, including Max Ernst, Giorgio de Chirico, Jean Arp, Man Ray, Joan Miro, and Rene Magritte. Salvador Dali, probably the single best-known Surrealist artist, broke with the group due to his right-wing politics (during this period leftism was the fashion among Surrealists, and in fact in almost all intellectual circles). The Magic Realists were American artists somewhat influenced by the Surrealists.

Precisionism: US, 1920s to 1930s
Precisionism (or Cubist Realism) is a style of representation in which an object is rendered in a realistic manner, but with an emphasis on its geometric form. An important part of American Modernism, it was inspired by the development of Cubism in Europe, and by the rapid growth of industrialization of North America in the wake of innovators such as Henry Ford. In its emphasis on stylized angular forms it is also visually somewhat similar to Art Deco. Charles Demuth and Charles Sheeler are the artists most closely associated with Precisionism. The urban works of Georgia O'Keeffe are also highly typical of this style. Dealing as it did with pure form more than with any type of narrative or subject matter, Precisionism gradually evolved towards Abstraction, and faded away as an important influence.

Art Deco: 1920s to 1930s
Art Deco is an elegant style of decorative art, design and architecture which began as a Modernist reaction against the Art Nouveau style. It is characterized by the use of angular, symmetrical geometric forms. One of the classic Art Deco themes is that of 1930s-era skyscrapers such as New York's Chrysler Building and Empire State Building. The former, designed by architect William Van Alen, is considered to be one of the world's great Art Deco style buildings. The Art Deco look is related to the Precisionist art movement, which developed at about the same time. Well-known artists within the Art Deco movement included Tamara de Lempicka, fashion illustrator Erte, glass artist Rene Lalique and graphic designer Adolphe Mouron (known professionally Cassandre).

Harlem Renaissance: early 1920s to 1930s
The Harlem Renaissance was a flowering of African-American social thought that was expressed through the visual arts, as well as through music (Louis Armstrong, Eubie Blake, Fats Waller and Billie Holiday), literature (Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and W.E.B. DuBois), theater (Paul Robeson) and dance (Josephine Baker). Centered in the Harlem district of New York City, the New Negro Movement (as it was called at the time) had a profound influence across the United States and even around the world. The intellectual and social freedom of the era attracted many Black Americans from the rural south to the industrial centers of the north - and especially to New York City. Artists at the core of the Harlem Renaissance movement included William H. Johnson, Lois Mailou Jones and the sculptor and printmaker Sargent Claude Johnson. Other prominent artists associated with the Harlem Renaissance included Jacob Lawrence, Archibald Motley and Romare Bearden.

Abstract Expressionism: New York City, 1946 to 1960s
Abstract Expressionism is a type of art in which the artist expresses himself purely through the use of form and color. It non-representational, or non-objective, art, which means that there are no actual objects represented. Now considered to be the first American artistic movement of international importance, the term was originally used to describe the work of Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Arshile Gorky. The movement can be more or less divided into two groups: Action Painting, typified by artists such as Pollock, de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Philip Guston, stressed the physical action involved in painting; Color Field Painting, practiced by Mark Rothko and Kenneth Noland, among others, was primarily concerned with exploring the effects of pure color on a canvas.

Pop Art: 1950s to 1960s
Pop Art is a style of art which explores the everyday imagery that is so much a part of contemporary consumer culture. Common sources of imagery include advertisements, consumer product packaging, celebrity photographs, and comic strips. Leading Pop artists include Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Roy Lichtenstein.

Op Art: 1950s to 1960s
Optical Art is a mathematically-themed form of Abstract art, which uses repetition of simple forms and colors to create vibrating effects, moiré patterns, foreground-background confusion, an exaggerated sense of depth, and other visual effects. In a sense, all painting is based on tricks of visual perception: manipulating rules of perspective to give the illusion of three-dimensional space, mixing colors to create the impression of light and shadow, and so on. With Optical Art, the rules that the viewer's eye uses to try to make sense of a visual image are themselves the "subject" of the artwork. In the mid-20th century, artists such as Victor Vasarely, Josef Albers and M.C. Escher experimented with Optical Art. Escher's work, although not abstract, deals extensively with various forms of visual tricks and paradoxes. In the 1960's, the term "Op Art" was coined to describe the work of a growing group of abstract painters. This movement was led by Vasarely and Bridget Riley, and included such artists as Richard Anuszkiewicz, François Morellet and Jesús-Rafael Soto.

Photorealism: 1960s to 1970s
Photorealism is a movement which began in the late 1960's, in which scenes are painted in a style closely resembling photographs. The subject matter is frequently banal and without particular interest; the true subject of a photorealist work is the way in which we interpret photographs and paintings in order to create an internal representation of the scene depicted. The leading members of the Photorealist movement are Richard Estes and Chuck Close. Estes specializes in street scenes with elaborate reflections in window-glass; Close does enormous portraits of usually expressionless faces. Other photorealists also typically specialize in one particular subject: horses, trucks, diners, etc.

Minimalism: Began in the 1960s
Minimalism is a form of art in which objects are stripped down to their elemental, geometric form, and presented in an impersonal manner. It is an Abstract style of art which came about as a reaction against the subjective elements of Abstract Expressionism. Minimalist art frequently takes the form of installation or sculpture, for example with Donald Judd, Carl Andre Dan Flavin and Sol LeWitt. However, there are also a number of minimalist painters, such as Ellsworth Kelly, and Frank Stella.
Abstract Expressionism
American art movement of the 1940s that emphasized form and color within a nonrepresentational framework. Jackson Pollock initiated the revolutionary technique of splattering the paint directly on canvas to achieve the subconscious interpretation of the artist's inner vision of reality.
Art Deco
A 1920s style characterized by setbacks, zigzag forms, and the use of chrome and plastic ornamentation. New York's Chrysler Building is an architectural example of the style.
Art Nouveau
An 1890s style in architecture, graphic arts, and interior decoration characterized by writhing forms, curving lines, and asymmetrical organization. Some critics regard the style as the first stage of modern architecture.
Ashcan School
A group of New York realist artists at the beginning of the twentieth century who rejected the formal subject matter of the academy and focused on gritty urban scenes and ordinary, even ugly, aspects of life.
Assemblage (Collage)
Forms of modern sculpture and painting utilizing readymades, found objects, and pasted fragments to form an abstract composition. Louise Nevelson's boxlike enclosures, each with its own composition of assembled objects, illustrate the style in sculpture. Pablo Picasso developed the technique of cutting and pasting natural or manufactured materials to a painted or unpainted surface.
Barbizon School (Landscape Painting)
A group of 19th-century French painters who rejected idealized landscape painting and sought a more informal, realistic portrayal of nature. They were heavily influenced by 17th-century Dutch genre painting. Theodore Rousseau, one of the principal figures of the group, was a proponent of outdoor painting, based on direct observation of one's surroundings.
Baroque
European art and architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries. Giovanni Bernini, a major exponent of the style, believed in the union of the arts of architecture, painting, and sculpture to overwhelm the spectator with ornate and highly dramatized themes. Although the style originated in Rome as the instrument of the Church, it spread throughout Europe in such monumental creations as the Palace of Versailles.
Beaux Arts
Elaborate and formal architectural style characterized by symmetry and an abundance of sculptured ornamentation. New York's old Custom House at Bowling Green is an example of the style.
Classicism
A form of art derived from the study of Greek and Roman styles characterized by harmony, balance, and serenity. In contrast, the Romantic Movement gave free rein to the artist's imagination and to the love of the exotic.
Constructivism
A form of sculpture using wood, metal, glass, and modern industrial materials expressing the technological society. The mobiles of Alexander Calder are examples of the movement.
Cubism
Early 20th-century French movement marked by a revolutionary departure from representational art. Pablo Picasso and Georges Bracque penetrated the surface of objects, stressing basic abstract geometric forms that presented the object from many angles simultaneously.
Dada
A product of the turbulent and cynical post-World War I period, this anti-art movement extolled the irrational, the absurd, the nihilistic, and the nonsensical. The reproduction of Mona Lisa adorned with a mustache is a famous example. The movement is regarded as a precursor of Surrealism. Some critics regard HAPPENINGS as a recent development of Dada. This movement incorporates environment and spectators as active and important ingredients in the production of random events.
Expressionism
A 20th-century European art movement that stresses the expression of emotion and the inner vision of the artist rather than the exact representation of nature. Distorted lines and shapes and exaggerated colors are used for emotional impact. Vincent Van Gogh is regarded as the precursor of this movement.
Fauvism
The name “wild beasts” was given to the group of early 20th-century French painters because their work was characterized by distortion and violent colors. Henri Matisse and Georges Rouault were leaders of this group.
Futurism
This early 20th-century movement originating in Italy glorified the machine age and attempted to represent machines and figures in motion. The aesthetics of Futurism affirmed the beauty of technological society.
Gothic
Gothic Art is the style of art produced in Northern Europe from the middle ages up until the beginning of the Renaissance. Typically rooted in religious devotion, it is especially known for the distinctive arched design of its churches, its stained glass, and its illuminated manuscripts. In the late 14th century, anticipating the Renaissance, Gothic Art developed into a more secular style known as International Gothic. One of the great artists of this period is Simone Martini. Although superseded by Renaissance art, there was a Gothic Revival in the 18th and 19th centuries, largely rooted in nostalgia and romanticism.
Genre
This French word meaning “type” now refers to paintings that depict scenes of everyday life without any attempt at idealization. Genre paintings can be found in all ages, but the Dutch productions of peasant and tavern scenes are typical.
Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance was a flowering of African-American social thought that was expressed through the visual arts, as well as through music (Louis Armstrong, Eubie Blake, Fats Waller and Billie Holiday), literature (Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and W.E.B. DuBois), theater (Paul Robeson) and dance (Josephine Baker). Centered in the Harlem district of New York City, the New Negro Movement (as it was called at the time) had a profound influence across the United States and even around the world. The intellectual and social freedom of the era attracted many Black Americans from the rural south to the industrial centers of the north - and especially to New York City. Artists at the core of the Harlem Renaissance movement included William H. Johnson, Lois Mailou Jones and the sculptor and printmaker Sargent Claude Johnson. Other prominent artists associated with the Harlem Renaissance included Jacob Lawrence, Archibald Motley and Romare Bearden.
Impressionism
Late 19th-century French school dedicated to defining transitory visual impressions painted directly from nature, with light and color of primary importance. If the atmosphere changed, a totally different picture would emerge. It was not the object or event that counted but the visual impression as caught at a certain time of day under a certain light. Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro were leaders of the movement.
Mannerism
A mid-16th-century movement, Italian in origin, although El Greco was a major practitioner of the style. The human figure, distorted and elongated, was the most frequent subject.
Neoclassicism
An 18th-century reaction to the excesses of Baroque and Rococo, this European art movement tried to recreate the art of Greece and Rome by imitating the ancient classics both in style and subject matter.
Neoimpressionism
A school of painting associated with George Seurat and his followers in late 19th-century France that sought to make Impressionism more precise and formal. They employed a technique of juxtaposing dots of primary colors to achieve brighter secondary colors, with the mixture left to the eye to complete (pointillism).
Op Art
The 1960s movement known as Optical Painting is characterized by geometrical forms that create an optical illusion in which the eye is required to blend the colors at a certain distance.
Pop Art
In this return to representational art, the artist returns to the world of tangible objects in a reaction against abstraction. Materials are drawn from the everyday world of popular culture—comic strips, canned goods, and science fiction.
Realism
A development in mid-19th-century France lead by Gustave Courbet. Its aim was to depict the customs, ideas, and appearances of the time using scenes from everyday life.
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a period of great creative and intellectual activity, during which artists broke away from the restrictions of Byzantine Art. Throughout the 15th century, artists studied the natural world in order to perfect their understanding of such subjects as anatomy and perspective. Among the many great artists of this period were Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Paolo Uccello and Piero della Francesca. During this period there was a related advancement of Gothic Art centered in Germany and the Netherlands, known as the Northern Renaissance. The Early Renaissance was succeeded by the mature High Renaissance period, which began circa 1500.
Rococo
A French style of interior decoration developed during the reign of Louis XV consisting mainly of asymmetrical arrangements of curves in paneling, porcelain, and gold and silver objects. The characteristics of ornate curves, prettiness, and gaiety can also be found in the painting and sculpture of the period.
Romanticism
Romanticism might best be described as anticlassicism. A reaction against Neoclassicism, it is a deeply-felt style which is individualistic, exotic, beautiful and emotionally wrought. Although Romanticism and Neoclassicism were philosophically opposed, they were the dominant European styles for generations, and many artists were affected to a lesser or greater degree by both. Artists might work in both styles at different times or even combine elements, creating an intellectually Romantic work using a Neoclassical visual style, for example. Great artists closely associated with Romanticism include Caspar David Friedrich, John Constable, J.M.W. Turner and William Blake. In the North America, the leading Romantic movement was the Hudson River School of dramatic landscape painting. Obvious successors of Romanticism include the Pre-Raphaelite movement and the Symbolist painters. But Impressionism, and through it almost all of 20th century art, is also firmly rooted in the individualism of the Romantic tradition.
Surrealism
A further development of Collage, Cubism, and Dada, this 20th-century movement stresses the weird, the fantastic, and the dreamworld of the subconscious.
Symbolism
As part of a general European movement in the latter part of the 19th century, it was closely allied with Symbolism in literature. It marked a turning away from painting by observation to transforming fact into a symbol of inner experience. Gauguin was an early practitioner.