Art Appreciation is the knowledge and understanding of the universal and timeless qualities that identify all great art. The more you appreciate and understand the art of different eras, movements, styles and techniques, the better you can develop, evaluate and improve your own artwork.
Famous Artists is our series of biographies on great painters from the history of art. We explore the life and work of each artist by analyzing their most famous paintings. Each biography is followed by a slide show of what we consider to be their twenty best works of art.
Art Movements are convenient terms for classifying artists of a certain period or style. They are simply historical titles which are usually dubbed retrospectively by art critics or historians and their titles are often witty or sarcastic nicknames pulled from a review.
The Art History Timeline helps you to more fully appreciate the work of any artist or art movement by undertstanding its position in the history of art. As most new artwork is a reaction against or development of a previous style in the timeline, it is enlightening to know the artistic context in which it was created.
Our Art History Slideshows illustrate famous artworks by some of the most celebrated artists associated with the major art movements and styles. Both the slideshows themselves and the artworks that appear in them are arranged in chronological order to give some sense of the development that occurred as each movement or style progressed.
The Visual Elements of Art are line, shape, tone, color, pattern, texture and form. A knowledge of how they are used in art will help you to understand how artworks are created. You can learn how to analyse an artwork by breaking it down to its component parts, so that you may appreciate the skill and imagination that the artist has used in composing it.
Portraits express the beauty, status, power, wealth or character of their subjects. Artists use a wide range of media for portraiture, including drawing, printing, painting, sculpture, photography and multimedia.
Still Life is the drawing and painting of items such as fruit, flowers and household objects, which are usually arranged on a table top or shelf. Over the centuries artists have chosen to paint still life objects for their symbolism, abstract qualities or simply their visual beauty.
Landscape Artists celebrates artwork from around the world based on the built environment. It displays famous paintings of towns and buildings that have inspired artists to share their feelings about the surroundings we have constructed for ourselves.
Animals in Art have always been a popular subject. They are often depicted for their natural beauty and majesty, or as mythical or symbolic beasts. Sometimes they are portrayed as the hunter's prey, prize livestock, or more sentimentally as domestic pets.
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'Starry Night', 1889 (oil on canvas) by Vincent Van Gogh.